Truck, Delivery Drivers Independent Contractor Misclassification
Last Updated on January 20, 2022
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Truck and delivery drivers working as independent contractors.
- What's Going On?
- Some drivers are complaining that the companies they work for have misclassified them as "independent contractors" when they're actually employees. As a result, these drivers say they're getting cheated out of overtime and minimum wage pay, as well as protection against discrimination.
- What's Being Done About This?
- Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed accusing companies of misclassifying their workers as independent contractors. Even big names like Macy's and FedEx have been sued – and ended up paying out millions to their drivers.
- How Do I Know If I'm an Employee or Independent Contractor?
- If you're economically dependent on the company you work for, you're most likely an employee. If you're in business for yourself, you're most likely an independent contractor. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy to distinguish.
- How We Can Help:
- If you suspect you're an employee – and not an independent contractor like the company says – fill out the form on this page. We can have an attorney reach out to you to help determine whether you're an employee or independent contractor and whether the company you work for is cheating you out of proper pay. There's no cost or obligation in contacting us or speaking with an attorney.
Some truck and delivery drivers are suing the companies they work for claiming that they’re employees – not independent contractors – and entitled to overtime and minimum wage pay.
Macy’s, FedEx and a number of other big names have already been sued, and while each case is different, drivers in the Macy’s class action recovered about $13,000 each.
If you’re a truck or delivery driver working as an independent contractor, it’s possible that you’ve been misclassified and owed money from the company you work for.
Why Would a Company Call Me an Independent Contractor Instead of an Employee?
Business can save a lot of money by saying their workers are independent contractors and not employees. When a company hires independent contractors, they don’t have to pay for unemployment insurance, overtime pay, workers’ compensation insurance, Social Security or Medicare taxes.
Independent contractors also are not entitled to same protections afforded to employees, including:
- The right to the minimum wage
- The right to form a union
- The right to medical leave to treat an illness or care for a sick family member
- The right to be free from discrimination based on color, gender, religion, etc.
Am I an Employee or and Independent Contractor?
A number of factors determine whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor, but, according to the Department of Labor, it all boils down to this: whether you’re economically dependent on the company you’re working for.
If you’re economically dependent on the company, you’re an employee. If you’re in business for yourself, you’re an independent contractor. Learn more about what it means to be economically dependent from the Department of Labor.
It’s important to keep in mind that just because the company you’re working for calls you an independent contractor or gives you a 1099 does not make you an independent contractor in the eyes of the law.
Lawsuits Claim Drivers Don’t Have Control and Are Therefore Employees
One of the six factors that help courts determine whether someone is economically dependent on the company they’re working for (and therefore an employee) is the level of control he or she has.
The less control a worker has, the more likely it is that he or she is an employee and not an independent contractor.
In their lawsuits, truck and delivery drivers are claiming that the companies they worked for had significant control in that they:
Assigned routes to their drivers
Required their drivers to check in at certain times throughout the day
Required drivers to lease or purchase specific vehicles through the company
Regulated their drivers’ appearance (e.g., uniform, shaving requirements)
Controlled their drivers’ schedules
Had the ability to deny requests for time off
Controlled equipment (trucks, tools, cell phones, etc.)
Required drivers to attend mandatory meetings
Engaged in constant supervision of their drivers’ job performance and location
Required drivers to report to work at certain times
Didn’t allow drivers to use their trucks for any other carrier or purpose
Required drug and alcohol monitoring for their drivers
The lawsuits say that, because the company had this control, the drivers are employees and not independent contractors. In fact, a memo released by the Department of Labor in July 2015 states that most workers are employees under federal labor law.
Attorneys believe that the practice of misclassifying employees as independent contractors is rampant in the trucking industry and want to speak with any truck or delivery driver working as an independent contractor. If you were misclassified, you may be able to start a class action lawsuit on behalf of yourself and other drivers at the company to recover your unpaid wages.
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