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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 9 posts in Independent Contractors.

Here We Go Again: New DOL Independent Contractor Rule In Effect

Posted In Department of Labor ("DOL"), Employment Law, Independent Contractors

In the continuing tug of war that has taken place with recent successive presidential administrations, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) on January 10th, 2024, published a new final rule to once again define “independent contractor” for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The new rule adopts a six-factor test to determine the “economic reality” of the relationship between the worker and the potential employer. It went into effect on March 11th.  More >

NLRB Gets Back in the Time Machine, Reverts to Previous Independent Contractor Test

It’s 2023: do you know who your employees are? If you think you do, think again: the National Labor Relations Board announced in a June 13th decision on the case The Atlanta Opera, Inc., that it is changing its test for determining which workers are independent contractors and which are covered employees, reverting once again to an Obama-era standard.  For employers, this means that the potential for running into issues with misclassification and unionization has increased significantly. More >

Is Your Independent Contractor Really An Employee?

Posted In Independent Contractors, Worker Misclassification

Employers may choose to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees for several reasons. Some seek to avoid employment tax, workers compensation costs, and overtime wage rates. Some hope to steer clear of employment laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Others simply look to independent contractors because they provide a more flexible and less permanent workforce than traditional employees. More >

Surprise! That Independent Contractor is an Employee!

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has given employers some bitter pills to swallow lately, especially in light of the proposed rule concerning new restrictions on the white collar overtime exemption. With a new set of guidance on the classification of independent contractors, the streak of DOL heartburn for employers continues unabated. More >

Employees vs. Independent Contractors: The Consequences of Misclassification

Posted In Employment Law, Independent Contractors

The distinction between independent contractors and employees carries more burdens, consequences, and decisions than ever before. In addition to the tax consequences, there are health care compliance consequences, workers’ compensation consequences, and even intellectual property consequences. Understanding the consequences of misclassification is paramount to properly structure an employer’s workforce. More >

Who Owns What When a Copyrighted Work is Created in the Workplace

Posted In copyright, Employment Law, Independent Contractors, Intellectual Property, Work for Hire

Something employers, employees and contractors don’t often consider is the ownership and attribution of copyrighted property created for an employer on behalf of an employee. Copyright has value, so the ownership of it might sometimes come into dispute. Clear agreements as to the ownership and attribution of intellectual property provide insight – i.e., any works created by an author as a result of the course and scope of that author’s employment with a company are company property. What happens, however, when a clear agreement isn’t in place? Who owns the intellectual property then? More >

Worker Classification Tests -- When One Isn’t Enough: Troyer v. T.John.E Productions, cont.

On Monday, we discussed the Troyer v. T.John.E Productions, Inc. case. The outcome of that case hinged on whether the plaintiff workers were “employees” or “independent contractors.” The IRS had previously issued SS-8 determination letters to the employers, wherein it was determined the plaintiffs were, in fact, “employees” under the 20-factor IRS guidelines. One might think that the IRS classification would result in a judgment for the plaintiffs. The court, however, thought otherwise. More >


Posted In Employment Law, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Independent Contractors

Classifying a worker as either an independent contractor or an employee is an important distinction. Taxes, pay, benefits, and whether the worker is protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are all dependent on the classification a worker receives. Generally, independent contractors are owed fewer obligations than employees and, thus, the independent contractor label is often favored. However, misclassification may result in legal action and the possibility of significant consequences (see a post on the consequences here). Making the distinction is not always easy and usually requires a fact-specific analysis. Sometimes, workers may even be evaluated under different standards, depending on which government agency or type of action is involved. Case in point: Troyer v. T.John.E Productions, Inc., from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.[1] More >


Over the past several years, more and more employers are attempting to cut costs by hiring individuals as independent contractors as opposed to employees. This trend, however, has caught the attention of the Federal Department of Labor, which this year has again increased its budget to “detect and deter” misclassification of workers as independent contractors. This budget also includes the addition of dozens of new full time employees dedicated to investigate possible violations resulting from misclassification. More >

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