Independent Contractors

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    Two recent decisions may give franchisers and entities that use independent contractors cause for concern. In both rulings, the joint-employer doctrine was invoked to extend potential liability to the larger entities (in these cases, a franchiser and a grocery store chain). General Counsel: McDonald's joint employer In a departure from...
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    A federal judge in Colorado recently approved an agreement to settle a collective action in which oil and gas workers alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors and unlawfully denied overtime pay. Under the settlement, J&A Services, LLC, and related entities agreed to pay a total of $2 million, with the net recovery to each...
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    Under North Dakota law, any individual who performs work for remuneration or wages is presumed to be an employee. To overcome that presumption, an employer must provide evidence under a 20-factor common-law test that is complicated and confusing. That said, there are definitely benefits to using independent contractors instead of employees...
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    We've repeatedly warned you in these pages about the dangers of misclassifying workers as independent contractors. The Massachusetts independent contractor/misclassification law, Mass. Gen. L. ch. 149 § 148B, is among the most rigid in the nation. Under the law, a worker is presumed to be an employee unless the employer can meet...
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    One of the burning issues in Texas is what constitutes an independent contractor. Candidly, state case law is more favorable to employers than federal case law when it comes to determining independent contractor status. For a recent case from a state court in Houston that allowed a company to elude personal injury damages because of an independent...
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    Under Wisconsin law, an employer generally isn't liable for the torts (wrongful acts) of an independent contractor. An exception to that rule exists when the employer hires an independent contractor to perform "inherently dangerous" work. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently agreed to clarify what constitutes "inherently dangerous" work. The court...
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    E-Verify security change announced. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a change in the E-Verify program aimed at combating identity fraud by identifying and deterring fraudulent use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) for employment eligibility verification. USCIS offers an example of an employer entering information...
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    Employers often classify workers as independent contractors without fully understanding the legal and technical distinction between independent contractors and employees. Some may find it desirable to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid various legal obligations. As more employers take this shortcut, the IRS and other government...
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    E-Verify security change announced. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a change in the E-Verify program aimed at combating identity fraud by identifying and deterring fraudulent use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) for employment eligibility verification. USCIS offers an example of an employer entering information...
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    Like so many Super Bowls before it, this year's game was a blowout long before the dip and punch disappeared. But between the $8- million-a-minute commercials, there were some employment law points to think about as the Seahawks and Broncos squared off, representing the USA's two recreational marijuana states. Last vestiges of employee ownership...
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