Misclassification lawsuits are among the most common labor disputes between employers and employees. Often, employees are misclassified as independent contractors for the sake of improving a company’s bottom line. The law draws a firm distinction between an independent contractor and an employee, though sometimes that line is admittedly blurry.
One such profession that sees individuals take jobs as both employees and independent contractors is truck driving. A truck driver working for one company may be classified as an independent contractor while a truck driver working for another company might be classified as an employee.
One former employee of United Van Lines, however, is claiming the company misclassified him as an independent contractor when he should have been rightly classified as an employee.
Truck driver Sammy Davis is suing the company, claiming that they classified him as an independent contractor despite having worked there for over 10 years. In addition, he is claiming they:
- Forced their drivers to pay for fuel, lease payments, repairs, and other expenses related to their work,
- Paid their drivers less than minimum wage,
- Refused to pay overtime for 16-hour days.
The driver has asked for a jury trial and contends that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and Missouri Minimum Wage Law.
Does the Trucker Have a Solid Case?
Due in large part to the fact that the trucker has worked for United Van Lines for 10 years and depended on the company for his livelihood as his sole client, the trucker has a good case that he, and others like him, were intentionally misclassified in accord with IRS classifications for independent contractors.
Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
With the rise of the gig economy, there are more individuals classified as independent contractors than ever. That being said, employees are entitled to certain benefits that independent contractors are not. While some of those classified as independent contractors can make a good living servicing multiple clients, not all of those who are classified as independent contractors are benefiting from the arrangement.
If you are an employee working in Missouri who believes that they have been misclassified as an independent contractor, there are a number of ways that you can find that information out. The easiest, of course, is to contact an employment attorney. Another, slightly more labor intensive way, is by reading through the IRS 20-factor test that the State of Missouri uses to determine the legal designation of an employee in misclassification lawsuits.
The Missouri Department of Labor also has an interactive questionnaire that you can fill out to determine if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor. While the results of the test cannot be used as evidence in a court of law and in no way can predict the outcome of a trial, the test could help you determine if you should retain legal counsel and pursue a claim against your employer.
Misclassified? HKM can Help
If your employer has misclassified you, you are entitled to damages. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys of Kansas City and we can prepare your case against your former employer.