Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: independent contractor

DOL Validates Independent Contractor Relationships in the On-Demand Marketplace

In an opinion letter issued April 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division concluded that a “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) that connects service providers with consumers is not the employer of the service providers.  The opinion should be a welcome one not only for VMCs and businesses in the “gig economy,” … Continue Reading

Moonlighting Police Officers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says Sixth Circuit

In yet another legal development calling into question a traditional independent contractor relationship in the U.S., the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined that off-duty police officers were employees of a private security company for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In Acosta v. Off Duty Police Services, Inc. (6th Cir. Feb. … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments in California Law

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Tony Oncidi and senior counsel Harris Mufson discuss key developments in California employment law, including a new test to determine whether workers are independent contractors or employees and what’s new on the #MeToo front. Listen to the podcast.  … Continue Reading

SCOTUS:  Employers Can Compel Individual Arbitration of Wage and Hour Claims

  In its eagerly-awaited opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the U.S. Supreme Court held on May 21 that class action waivers in arbitration agreements between employers and employees do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.  The opinion resolves a split among federal circuits, and reiterates—once again—the strong federal policy favoring arbitration. While … Continue Reading

California Changes Rules on Independent Contractors

As reported by my colleagues in Proskauer’s California Employment Law Update, the Supreme Court of California established new rules on April 30, 2018 for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee for purposes of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders.  The Wage Orders set forth California’s requirements for minimum wage, … Continue Reading

New Rules Implementing the NYC Freelance Isn’t Free Act To Become Effective on July 24, 2017

As we previously reported, in November 2016, NYC Mayor De Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, establishing protections for freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract for work valued at $800 or more, the right to be paid timely and in full, and the right to be free from … Continue Reading

DOL Withdraws Obama-Era Administrator’s Interpretations on Independent Contractors and Joint Employment

Employers across the U.S. were troubled by the sub-regulatory guidance issued by the DOL in 2015 and 2016 on independent contractors and joint employment.  Today, the DOL announced the withdrawal of that guidance (Administrator’s Interpretations No. 2015-01 (July 15, 2015, on independent contractors) and No. 2016-01 (Jan. 20, 2016, on joint employment)). As you may … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only provides services to one business or entity.  In so doing, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Unemployment Insurance Board finding … Continue Reading

Appellate Division Rules That Paid Blogger Was Not An “Employee” Entitled To Unemployment Benefits, Signaling Trend Toward More Searching Judicial Review of Agency Decisions

One of the recurring themes in workplace law in 2016 was the continued crackdown on independent contractor misclassification.  Both federal and state agencies, as well as the plaintiffs’ bar, invested significant resources to challenge employers in the “gig economy”—as well as in more traditional businesses—that rely heavily on contractors, freelancers, and other third-party service providers. … Continue Reading

Yoga Instructors Can Be Independent Contractors, Says NY Court of Appeals

Earlier this week, the New York State Court of Appeals in Yoga Vida NYC, Inc. v. Commissioner of Labor., No. 130 (N.Y. Oct. 25, 2016), issued a rare decision concerning an unemployment determination, reversing the Appellate Division and concluding that the employer yoga studio did not exercise sufficient control over certain of its instructors to create … Continue Reading

Mayor Signs Into Law NYC Bill Protecting Freelance Workers, Effective May 15, 2017

On November 16, 2016, NYC Mayor De Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, a local law (No. 1017-2015) establishing protections for freelance workers. The law, amending Title 10 of the N.Y.C. Administrative Code, establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract, the right to be … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Partners With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

On September 13, 2016, Oklahoma became the 35th state to enter into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  Oklahoma represents just the latest in a flurry of new participants in the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, which was launched in 2010 … Continue Reading

North Carolina and Nebraska Join 32 Other States In Agreeing To Partner With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

Just last month we reported that Pennsylvania had entered into a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”), agreeing to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  Now two more states have joined the U.S. DOL in this effort. In the past week, North Carolina and Nebraska … Continue Reading

New Arizona Independent Contractor Law Now In Effect

Arizona’s “Declaration of Independent Business Status” law went into effect earlier this month. The new law, which appears to be the first of its kind, aims to provide independent contractors and the businesses that engage them greater certainty with respect to their employment status. Under the new law, independent contractors may sign a Declaration of Independent … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

The U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the  Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, the stated goal of which is to “combat employee misclassification and to ensure … Continue Reading

North Carolina Governor Signs Executive Order on Worker Misclassification

On December 18, 2015, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order establishing an “Employee Classification Section” within the state’s Industrial Commission.  The Order, which took effect immediately, tasked this new Section with overseeing employee misclassification enforcement by receiving reports of employee misclassification and referring those reports to appropriate state agencies for further action.  … Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bill Creating Independent Contractor Test For Newspaper Carriers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed several bills into law on Saturday, November 21, 2015.  However, one piece of legislation that did not make it past his desk was a measure that would have created a special test under which newspaper carriers could more easily be classified as independent contractors as opposed to employees for purposes of … Continue Reading

Vermont Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the Vermont Department of Labor (“VDOL”) signed a three-year memorandum of understanding to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, the goal of which is to prevent, detect, and remedy employee misclassification.  Just … Continue Reading

Alaska Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

The U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, the goal of which is to prevent, detect, and remedy employee misclassification.  Just last … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Issues Administrator’s Interpretation Aimed At Limiting Independent Contractor Classification

As forecast in our June 12, 2015 blog post David Weil, Administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has released Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) No. 2015-1, entitled “The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s ‘Suffer or Permit’ Standard in the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors.”  The AI provides … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Establishes Tip Line For Worker Misclassification

Man using smartphoneRhode Island’s Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification announced earlier this month that it has set up an anonymous telephone tip line for reporting allegations of independent contractor misclassification.  The Task Force was established to reduce worker misclassification.  It consists of representatives from Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training (DLT), the … Continue Reading

New Hampshire Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

The U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the New Hampshire Department of Labor recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share information regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, with the goal of preventing, detecting, and remedying employee misclassification.  Just last month Alabama’s Department of Labor entered into … Continue Reading

$10.2 Million Awarded by DOL to Detect Worker Misclassification

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor announced awards of $10,225,183 in grants to 19 states to implement or improve worker misclassification detection and enforcement initiatives in their unemployment insurance programs.   California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin … Continue Reading

New N.Y. Restrictions on Independent Contractor Use

As of April 10, companies in the commercial goods transportation industry must comply with strict rules governing use of independent contractors.  The Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act creates a presumption that any person transporting commercial goods (e.g., truck drivers) are employees.  It also amends the unemployment and workers compensation insurance law to require … Continue Reading
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