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

Washington Court of Appeals Holds Independent Contractors Are Protected from Retaliation by the Washington Law Against...

The Washington courts are strict in their interpretation of the classification of individuals as employees versus independent contractors, resulting in many an employer discovering that an “independent contractor” is instead...more

Quirky Question # 238, No Laughing Matter – Company Found Liable for Wrongfully Terminating Independent Contractor’s Agreement

Question: My company relies on independent contractors, over whom we don’t exert control. They often joke around with each other. I’m not liable for employment discrimination if I terminate one of them after they...more

No Laughing Matter: Company Found Liable for Wrongfully Terminating Independent Contractor’s Agreement after a Complaint about a...

Companies using independent contractors should be aware of increased enforcement efforts from federal and state labor and tax authorities over misclassification of workers under wage and hour and tax laws. In Washington, this...more

NLRB Will Charge McDonald’s as “Joint Employer” For Franchisee Labor Violations

In a move with far-reaching ramifications for all businesses that license their brands to independent contractors including franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced on July 29, 2014 that it has...more

July 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

The leading development this month in the area of independent contractor compliance and misclassification is an Arizona case that deals with a commonplace event – but one that carries with it the potential for unanticipated...more

NLRB Lawyers Declare Franchisor to be Joint Employer

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel announced its position that McDonald’s Corporation can be considered a joint employer with its franchisees for purposes of unfair labor practice claims. This...more

The Potential Impact of the NLRB’s Position that McDonald’s and its Franchisees are “Joint Employers”

The National Labor Relations Board created a stir last week when it announced that it intends to hold McDonald’s USA responsible for its franchisees’ violations of employment law. The announcement has created concern and...more

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business?...more

Executive Order May Block Contractors with Labor Violations from Receiving Federal Contracts

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (“Executive Order”) that requires contractors to (1) disclose recent violations of various workplace laws before being awarded federal...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Easier For Workers in Misclassification Cases To Obtain Class Certification

Employment class action litigation is often won or lost with a class certification ruling. If the employer is successful in opposing class certification, then these cases often go away with little or no fanfare and limited...more

Benesch Perspectives - July 2014 Newsletter

In this issue: - Not-for-Profit Spotlight - Giving to Religion Trending Downward for a Decade - What You Can Learn from Giving 2014 - Is the Front Door Closing on the Parsonage...more

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

Store to Pay Up to $6.5 Million for Misclassifying Workers

A national home-improvement store recently agreed to pay thousands of California workers as much as $6.5 million for improperly labeling them independent contractors (IC) instead of employees....more

The Supremes Sing Out About Control: It is the Primary Test for Deciding Whether a Worker is an Employee or an Independent...

In December 2008, newspaper carrier Maria Ayala sued Antelope Valley Newspapers on behalf of herself and a putative class of other newspaper carriers. The crux of her allegations in the complaint is that Antelope Valley...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2014

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims - Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in...more

Standard for Class Certification of Independent Contractors Clarified by California Supreme Court

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, the California Supreme Court held that the proper test for determining whether newspaper carriers could proceed as a class on the issue of their employment status was the employer’s...more

Doing Business in Canada: Employment Law

EMPLOYMENT LAW - THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP - There are many different types of relationships which businesses can have with the people and corporations who perform services for the business, including but not...more

Employment Law – Delivery Drivers Wrongfully Classified as Independent Contractors Rather Than Employees

Fernando Ruiz, et al. v. Affinity Logistics Corp. - United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (June 16, 2014) - The causes of action that can be asserted against an employer often depend on whether...more

California Supreme Court Holds Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims Can Be Determined by Common Proof – But Only in...

In its first employment-related class certification decision since its seminal ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank, the California Supreme Court, in a fragmented opinion, reversed the denial of class certification for a group of...more

Arizona District Court Rejects Joint Employer Arguments in Independent Contractor Case Alleging Misclassification of Truck Drivers

A month ago we discussed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., Case No. 12-56589 (9th Cir. June 16, 2014), in which the employer treated its delivery drivers as employees in everything but name,...more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds That a Challenge to Independent Contractor Status Is Class Certifiable

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers the California Supreme Court held that the critical factor in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is “the degree of a hirer’s right to control how...more

California Supreme Court Nixes Certification Denial Ruling Against Newspaper Carriers Classified as Independent Contractors

The California Supreme Court recently held that a trial court needed to revisit its class certification decision regarding newspaper carriers who alleged that they should have been classified as employees rather than...more

Independent Contractors for Global Organizations

As the global market grows seemingly smaller, more and more companies are expanding their reach around the world. Some companies send U.S. employees overseas, while others hire locally, or even utilize local independent...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Test for Independent Contractor Status and Class Certification of Independent Contractor...

Employers frequently struggle with determining when a service provider should be classified as an independent contractor, as opposed to an "employee." Getting the answer to that question wrong can prove significant in many...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2014

"Unauthorized Alien" Who Provided False SSN Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit - Salas v. Sierra Chem. Co., 2014 WL 2883878 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Vicente Salas worked on Sierra Chemical's production...more

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