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Wage & Overtime

Independent Contractor Misclassification

Outten & Golden attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assess the common misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The federal and state wage and hour laws that protect workers from wage theft generally apply only to those workers who are “employed” by their “employers.”  Some employers attempt to avoid these wage protections by misclassifying their workers as “independent contractors” to evade their responsibility to pay them legally required wages and benefits.

To determine whether a worker is an “employee” within the meaning of the law and therefore deserving of wage protection, Outten & Golden attorneys must look carefully at the facts of each case. Generally, if an employer has control over the person’s work—such as directing when and how to get the work done—then that worker is an employee. If a worker is more self-directed, like many freelancers and temps, then that person might be an independent contractor. Because this is a fact-intensive inquiry, a consultation with one of Outten & Golden's knowledgeable attorneys is necessary to make the right determination. 


Transportation Cases To Watch In 2019 (New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira)

Law360—Linda Chiem

New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira

In a case closely watched by the trucking industry, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act exemption for interstate transportation workers applies to independent contractors. Section 1 of the FAA exempts from arbitration "contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce."

The justices heard oral arguments in October 2018 in a class action accusing New Prime Inc. of failing to pay independent contractor truck-driver apprentices a proper minimum wage. The high...

Labor Secretary Eyes Gig Worker Policy (1)

Bloomberg—Daily Labor Report
  • New rules on joint employment, worker classification likely
  • DOL chief says agency pushed by inaction in Congress

The Labor Department is looking at changing regulations governing gig workers and other independent contractors, issues that have embroiled companies including Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. in legal battles, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said in an interview.

“The workforce is changing. How we approach work is changing, and we need to start looking at our rules and recognize that what fit 20 or 30 years ago is not going to fit for the modern workplace,” Acosta...