An article by Todd Lebowitz, posted at www.mondaq.com, tells of a court decision that may be of interest to those in the field services business. In Todd’s words: “The decision shows the lengths to which courts will go to invalidate independent contractor agreements, including rejecting the parties’ contractual agreement to apply Georgia law, which would have weighed more heavily in favor of independent contractor status.”
The article starts:
“Delivering another blow to the independent contractor model, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held this week that furniture delivery drivers for Affinity Logistics were employees under California law, not independent contractors.
In Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corporation, the Court of Appeals rejected the district court’s conclusion that Affinity’s drivers were independent contractors, a decision the district court had reached based on the fact that the drivers had established their own businesses, obtained their own Employee Identification Numbers, signed independent contractor agreements, and could hire helpers or secondary drivers. The Ninth Circuit instead ruled that other factors were more important to the analysis and that California law required the conclusion that they were employees of Affinity.
The case is now being sent back to the district court with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the drivers, who claimed that Affinity failed to pay them sick leave, vacation, holiday, and severance wages, and improperly charged them for their own workers compensation coverage.”