Worker Misclassification Claims

As we have discussed previously in this blog, wage and hour lawsuits continue to be prevalent.

Employers big and small have been facing an upward trend in wage-hour lawsuits over the past 10-15 years, and there is currently no end in sight. In the year 2000, for example, there were approximately 2,000 wage-hour claims filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA). In 2015, almost 9,000 claims were filed.

Not surprisingly, the alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors tops the list as one of the biggest weak spots for many employers. To learn more about the difference between an employee and independent contractor, please click here.

Independent Contractor vs. Employee Revisited

A recent labor decision has further defined the differences between an employee and an independent contractor and their classification for employment purposes. For several reasons, the least of which includes potential employment-related litigation, the proper qualification of a worker as an independent contractor or an employer is crucial.

At issue in this case, involving FedEx Home Delivery and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (34-CA-012735 and 34-RC-002205; 361 NLRB No. 55), was whether drivers who operated out of FedEx Home Delivery’s Hartford, CT terminal were employees covered under National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), §2(3) or whether they were independent contractors, and thereby excluded from coverage.