Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are individuals or entities that perform work for other individuals or entities, but are not employees of those individuals or entities. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent... more +
Independent contractors are individuals or entities that perform work for other individuals or entities, but are not employees of those individuals or entities. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is not always an easy determination. However, due to differences in tax and liability treatment, misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can have serious consequences. Autonomy is the defining feature of independent contractor arrangements. Independent contractors control the manner and method of how work is performed while payers control the desired result. Control over schedule and number of hours worked, ownership of equipment or tools, permanency of relationship, and acceptance of jobs from multiple entities are all possible factors in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor.   less -
News & Analysis as of

Federal Employment Case Update | Pizza and Beer

Members of Certified Class Lack Standing to Challenge Class Arbitration Ban - Conners v. Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria - United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit - When Jacqueline Conners brought a class...more

Who’s an Independent Contractor in the New Economy?

Deciding whether to treat workers as employees or independent contractors is tricky in general and even more so in the context of the new so-called sharing economy. In recent decisions, courts have refused to resolve whether...more

Motor Carriers Are Liable For Injuries to Drivers of Leased Vehicles Who Are Classified As Independent Contractors

Jose Vargas v. FMI, Inc. et al. - In Vargas, California’s Second Appellate District held that the Privette doctrine does not shield a motor carrier operating under a federal franchise from liability for tort injuries...more

Is Your Social Media Influencer or Blogger an Employee or an Independent Contractor? What Companies Need To Know Before They...

With the first quarter of 2015 behind us, many companies are already deeply engaged in social media campaigns. Many of these campaigns include the engagement of professional bloggers or other persons with social media...more

March 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

This past month’s headline developments involve three major developments in the area of independent contractor (IC) misclassification. The first case involves a large department store that agreed to pay most of the costs of...more

Two California Juries to Decide Whether Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Employees or Contractors

The core business models of both Uber and Lyft have just been turned over to two separate California juries. These groups of randomly selected citizens will determine whether the drivers for both companies have been properly...more

"Sharing Economy" Jobs Share Same Independent Contractor Issues as "Regular Economy"

A CNN op-ed piece caught my eye recently as it discussed some of the difficulties the so-called millennial generation is having in Silicon Valley and elsewhere when it comes to finding gainful employment. It paints a very...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2015

Recent Cases Provide Helpful Reminders Regarding Best Practices (and Pitfalls) with Employment Arbitration Clauses - Scrutiny of mandatory, pre-employment arbitration agreements continues before California state and...more

Is a Company’s Release of Claims a Form of Retaliation under Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws? EEOC v. Allstate

The EEOC may have taken enforcement of anti-retaliation provisions of antidiscrimination laws a step too far the Third Circuit ruled in February, and companies transitioning a work force from employees to independent...more

Uber, Lyft “Employee or Independent Contractor” Cases Provide Classification Lessons for All Employers

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As our “on-demand” society continues to develop and services are offered in ever new and more convenient ways, businesses must remain mindful of the traditional factors...more

Employer Met Its Burden Of Proving At Least $5 Million Amount In Controversy For CAFA Removal

In this putative class action, plaintiffs alleged that Knight Transportation had misclassified them as independent contractors when in fact they were employees who were not reimbursed their lease-related and fuel costs as...more

Sharing-economy Business Models Challenged – Uber and Lyft

O’Connor et al v Uber Technologies Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, 11 March 2015 C-13-3826 EMC, Judge Edward M. Chen...Cotter et al v Lyft, Inc., US District Court, Northern District of California, 11...more

Licensing Non-Employees to Access Microsoft Products on Your Servers

Many businesses have teams of third-party vendors to assist with their business operations or to provide independent services – like software development or website design – that require access to company servers. For...more

Tactics Kill Arb Agreement

In Roe v. SFBSC Management, LLC, No. 14-cv-03616 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2015), a federal district court in California rejected a night club’s attempt to compel arbitration by a class of performers who claimed they were...more

Uber and Lyft Lose Key Motions in California Independent Contractor Class Actions; Decisions Have Far-Reaching Implications for...

March 11, 2015 was a tough day for Uber and Lyft. Federal court judges in California issued separate decisions yesterday in class action lawsuits brought by drivers of Uber and Lyft who allege that those companies...more

“Something We Cannot Do”: Mies Confirms Limited Review of Class Certification Orders

In Mies v. Sephora U.S.A., Inc., No. A139410, published February 26, 2015 (Mies), the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District held that a trial court’s broad discretion to rule on class certification encompasses...more

February 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline developments are a set of cases reported in February dealing with class action IC misclassification claims: the highest court in a key state agreeing to decide whether a worker-friendly test should be...more

Supreme Court of New Jersey Rules on Test for Independent Contractors

On January 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided which independent contractor classification test should be used in determining a person’s employment status under the New Jersey Wage Payment Law (WPL) and Wage and...more

The Secret Weapon of the Rich

Have you ever wished that there were 25 hours in a day? Let’s face it, there are days that no matter what you do, you simply can’t get everything done that you wanted to....more

EEOC Loses Argument That Company Converting Employees to Contractors Cannot Require Release of Pending Discrimination Claims

Over the past several years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed several high profile lawsuits accusing employers of retaliating against employees by requiring them to waive discrimination claims in return...more

A Southern District of New York Decision Adopts Narrow Views of Privilege Protection for Independent Contractors and...

Last week's Privilege Point described the Southern District of New York's prediction that the Second Circuit might reject the widely-accepted "functional equivalent" doctrine. Church & Dwight Co. Inc. v. SPD Swiss Precision...more

Employees vs. Independent Contractors: The Consequences of Misclassification

The distinction between independent contractors and employees carries more burdens, consequences, and decisions than ever before. In addition to the tax consequences, there are health care compliance consequences, workers’...more

The Interconnect Flash - No. 46: Court Deals Crushing Blow to Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law

On February 5, 2015, Judge Robert G. Stearns issued industry-favorable decisions in two worker classification suits pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Based upon the First Circuit...more

You're fired! Want to continue to work for us as an Independent Contractor?

This post was contributed by Jennifer E. Will, an Attorney in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC's Labor & Employment Practice Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. If you do, you'll need to sign a release and waive all of your...more

Affordable Care Act Presents New Risks to Employers Who Misclassify Workers

As our readers know, federal and state departments of labor have intensified their scrutiny of independent contractor arrangements and are coordinating with the federal and state taxing authorities when misclassifications are...more

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