Employee/Independent Contractor Status

Previously, we wrote about a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) during the last days of the Trump administration addressing the appropriate test for classifying independent contractors under the FLSA. We noted that the future of the rule was in question because it was not set to go into effect until March 8, 2021. This delayed implementation provided an opportunity for the incoming Biden administration to freeze or withdraw the rule.
Continue Reading DOL Freezes Rule on Independent Contractor Classification Test under the FLSA and Withdraws Several Opinion Letters

In the last weeks of the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor published its final rule for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The distinction between an employee and independent contractor is of critical importance because independent contractors are not entitled to the benefits of the FLSA, namely minimum wage and overtime.
Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Rule on Independent Contractor Classification Test under the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released a proposed rule seeking to clarify independent contractor vs. employee status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.   The proposed rule seeks to simplify the “economic realities” test currently applied by federal courts in various forms.
Continue Reading Deadline Approaching to Submit Comments on DOL Proposed Independent Contractor Rule

On September 10, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued a Memorandum and Order granting summary judgment in favor of a franchisor in response to claims by a purported class of franchisees that they were not truly independent contractors, but employees of the franchisor. The main issue addressed in the case was whether specific federal legal requirements that are imposed upon franchisors trump the general Massachusetts independent contractor classification statute.
Continue Reading Massachusetts District Court Rejects Employee Classification for Franchisees

The First Appellate District’s recent decision in Subcontracting Concepts, LLC v. DeMelo, A152205 (April 10, 2019) applies well-established unconscionability principles to an arbitration agreement signed by an employee of an independent contractor. The doctrine of unconscionability refers to an absence of meaningful choice with respect to the terms of a contract, usually the result of unequal bargaining power between the parties.
Continue Reading California First Appellate District Reminds Employers: Check Arbitration Provisions for Unconscionability

On May 2, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, holding that the new independent contractor test established by the California Supreme Court in its 2018 decision in Dynamex v. Superior Court applies retroactively to franchisors. As a result of this decision, employers and franchisors who have classified workers as independent contractors may see an increase in wage and hour class actions alleging that the workers are or have been misclassified. Additionally, the decision has serious implications for any California companies that operate under a franchise business mode
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Determines that Dynamex Independent Contractor Test Applies Retroactively to Franchisors

As anticipated and previously reported, the Republican-controlled Board is overturning Obama-era rulings. For example, in a recent decision, SuperShuttle Inc. DFW, Inc. (16-RC-010963), the National Labor Relations Board affirmed the Board’s adherence to the traditional common-law agency test.  This decision overrules the NLRB’s 2014 Decision, FedEx Home Delivery, 361 NLRB No. 65, which had modified the NLRB’s long-standing test for independent contractor status.
Continue Reading NLRB Returns To The Traditional Common-Law Agency Test for Independent Contractors

In a rare win for plaintiffs seeking to avoid arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a trucking company’s attempt to compel arbitration in a driver’s proposed minimum wage class action.  The Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act’s exemption for interstate transportation workers applies not only to employees, but also to those classified as independent contractors. 
Continue Reading SCOTUS Rejects Employer’s Attempt to Compel Arbitration of Independent Contractor’s Class Claim