Tag: independent contractor

California Supreme Court Embraces New Employee-Friendly Worker Classification Standard

In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Lee, the California Supreme Court created a new employee-friendly test for determining whether workers are properly classified as employees or independent contractors.  While providing a level of certainty lacking in the prior standard, the Court’s new test significantly increases the burden on California employers in demonstrating that their workers … Continue Reading

9th Cir. Finds FedEx Delivery Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors

Last week, the 9th Circuit held in two related cases from California and Oregon that FedEx misclassified approximately 2,600 delivery truck drivers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. The cases—Alexander v. FedEx and Slayman v. FedEx—are an important reminder for employers that reality matters more than labels when it comes to classifying workers.  On that … Continue Reading

Federal Government to Crack Down on Misclassified “Independent Contractors?”

It’s always risky to misclassify someone who should be an employee as an "independent contractor," but President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal will increase the risks for employers.  According to this budget summary from the U.S. Department of Labor, the misclassification of employees as contractors is estimated to cost the Treasury Department over $7 billion in lost payroll … Continue Reading

9th Circuit: Independent Contractor Can Assert Disability Claim Under Rehabilitation Act

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that an independent contractor may assert a disability claim against an employer under the Rehabilitation Act.  Click the link to read the opinion on Fleming v. Yuma Regional Medical Center.  The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving … Continue Reading

Oregon Musicians No Longer Presumed Employees for Unemployment Purposes

Sine die!  The Oregon Legislature’s biennial session has come to a close, providing a perfect opportunity for the Stoel Rives World of Employment to take a look at what passed, what failed, and what flew under the radar. One helpful new statute fixes a problem for employers who operate music venues.  In late 2007, Mississippi Studios, a hip … Continue Reading

Exotic Dancers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

Every now and then we need a reminder to illustrate  the dangers of misclassifying employees as "independent contractors."  Last week, the Montana Supreme Court provided such a reminder, ruling that exotic dancers were employees, not independent contractors.  Click here to read the opinion in Smith v. TYAD Inc. d/b/a Playground Lounge & Casino.  In Playground, the employer required … Continue Reading

Fourteen Million Reasons Not to Misclassify Employees as Independent Contractors

A class of current and former FedEx Ground drivers misclassified as "independent contractors" will receive an additional $9 million in reimbursements for employment-related expenses, an appointed referee ruled October 20.  This award will be combined with a previous award of $5.3 million the drivers received in 2006.  The award will reimburse the drivers for such expenses as truck … Continue Reading

New Federal Legislation Would Penalize Employers’ Use of “Independent Contractors”

The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that would impose significant penalties on employers who improperly classify employees as "independent contractors" to avoid paying for benefits.  The Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (S. 3648) was introduced in the Senate on September 29, and is sponsored by Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).   … Continue Reading

California Assembly Passes Four Employment-Related Laws

California employers take note:  The California State Assembly recently passed four significant employment-related bills that you should pay close attention to: Medical Marijuana:  A.B. 2279 would prohibit discrimination against an employee based on marijuana use, as long as the use was for medical reasons and did not occur at the workplace or during the hours of employment. … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court Clarifies Covered Employment for Unemployment Insurance Tax Purposes

In Excell Construction Inc. v. Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, the state’s high court provided a detailed analysis of each the factors to be considered in determining whether a worker is covered for tax purposes.  The court adopted a list of fifteen factors an employer should consider in making that determination (and that the … Continue Reading
LexBlog