As the global economy shifts and the “old way of doing things” becomes less and less relevant to many job sectors, the lines between who is an employee and who is an independent contractor have gotten fuzzier and fuzzier. Fortunately, the ongoing practice of misclassifying workers as contractors is seeing pushback in many sectors, and judges are continuing to side with workers against big companies who repeatedly misclassify workers to strengthen their bottom line.
The most recent victory for workers comes from the transportation industry, where a federal judge ruled in favor of truckers who claimed they were being misclassified as contractors by a large shipping company. The plaintiffs maintained that they should not be considered contractors because the company had material control over all elements of their job. According to the plaintiffs, this extended from when and where the drivers transported goods to even the routes that they took to do so.
This can be seen as a major win for drivers, who have been shouldering the majority of the financial risk in the transportation industry since the 1980s when the industry became significantly deregulated. Following the ruling, the transportation company will have to offer fair benefits and pay, and possibly settle with drivers for unfair treatment going back nearly a decade.
These kinds of stories can be a breath of fresh air in a world that seems determined to choke out the livelihoods of the very people that keep the wheels turning for all of us, literally and figuratively. If you believe that you are being misclassified as an employee, you deserve to have your situation professionally evaluated. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected as you pursue justice.
Source: Trucks.com, “Federal Judge Rules Swift Misclassified Truck Drivers as Independent Contractors,” Clarissa Hawes, Jan. 11, 2017