News & Analysis as of

Wage Order—Not Borello—Applies in Independent Contractor Status Test Says California Court of Appeal

The California Court of Appeal, Second District, issued an opinion on October 15, 2014, that considered whether the definition of “employee” from the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 9 (Wage Order) or the common...more

“Black Car” Drivers Found to be Independent Contractors

Recently, courts in highly-publicized independent contractor misclassification cases in the transportation sector have issued determinations finding the workers to be employees. However, a recent decision from the Southern...more

NLRB Adopts New Test for Independent Contractor Misclassification, Applies it to Find FedEx Drivers are Employees Who Can Unionize

The NLRB has tossed a new vegetable into the enormous salad of independent contractor misclassification tests. As companies might expect, the new vegetable smells rotten. Companies who wish to analyze whether their...more

Misclassification Initiatives Spread as Alabama Signs Formal Pact with DOL

On October 2, 2014, the Alabama Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) entered into a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or agreement to share information regarding independent contractor...more

New Law Makes Employers Liable for Labor Code and Other Violations of Staffing Companies

At some time during the business cycle, many companies utilize staffing or labor contracting agencies to obtain workers to perform certain tasks. In such situations, the staffing or contracting agency typically serves as the...more

New California Law Imposes Costly Risks to Companies Using Independent Contractors Supplied by Staffing and Recruiting Firms – But...

On September 28, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a bill that puts a potentially enormous liability risk on companies that use workers supplied by “labor contractors” that fail to pay all wages due the workers....more

Employee or Independent Contractor? A Change in the Ground Rules at FedEx Ground

I’ll bet you assume that the hard-working driver who delivers your packages and letters shipped by Federal Express is a FedEx employee. After all, he or she wears a FedEx uniform, drives a FedEx truck, uses a FedEx handheld...more

‘Entrepreneurs’ or Exploited Workers?

For years, employers have reacted to the size and breadth of employment laws and regulations in California by finding other means of classifying people who perform services for them. As a result, California employers today...more

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 1 of 11 – FedEx sings Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong”…to Classify Our Drivers as Independent...

Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay? Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way? Those are the opening lyrics to Nico & Vinz’s (catchy would be an understatement) summertime hit...more

Independent Contractors Lying In Wait… An Employment Law Perspective

The Issue: Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is common and it can have “quicksand” impact on employers. In addition to litigation expense, employer risks include compensation and penalties for Wage...more

Sea Change: Ninth Circuit Holds That FedEx Drivers Are Employees — Not Independent Contractors

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed the nearly decade long misclassification dispute between FedEx and its drivers, holding that drivers in California (as well as in Oregon) are FedEx employees, not independent contractors. ...more

August 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline development are the seismic decisions, issued on August 27, 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concluding as a matter of law that FedEx Ground had misclassified over 2,300 drivers...more

Worker-Classification Lawsuit Claims Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

A class-action suit recently filed in Massachusetts against an on-demand car service alleges the company misclassified its drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. As a result, according to the complaint, the...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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