"Making the Market for Independent Contractors Safe, Reliable and More Efficient for All Parties"

Case Law and Legislation

Legal CaseYearHeadlineCase SummarySource
Camp v. Maplebear, Inc.,
d/b/a Instacart
2017 Another On-Demand Company Settles case On-demand shopping delivery service Instacart entered into a proposed settlement of its IC misclassification class action with its “shoppers” for $4.65 million. Lawyers and Settlements.com
James v. Kalanick
(former Uber CEO)
2017 Can You be held “Personally” Liable for Worker Misclassification? case Uber’s former CEO and current chairman of the board and Garrett Camp, the Chairman of the Board of Uber Technologies, Inc. are both being sued personally in California on behalf of drivers alleging that Uber misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees. Pepper Hamilton
O’Connor v. Uber Technologies Inc. 2017 The BIG One case This is the big Uber case, potentially a billion dollars at stake. This one will eventually determine whether Uber drivers are properly classified as ICs. Who Is My Employee, (Baker Law)
Lawson v. GrubHub Holdings, Inc. 2017 Is the Gig Economy at Risk? case GrubHub and other on-demand companies are finding themselves at the epicenter of an ongoing legal battle over whether 1099 contractors should really be counted as employees rather than independent contractors. Are the very company business models at risk? Pepper Hamilton
Cotter v. Lyft Inc. 2017 Driving Us Crazy Over IC Compliance case Lyft got formal approval from a federal district court judge to settle its class action IC misclassification case with its on-demand ride-sharing drivers for $27 million. Pepper Hamilton
Jammal, et al. v.
American Family Insurance
2017 Agents Get Their Share case After four-year long battle over the agent misclassification issue, a federal judge has agreed with a jury that American Family insurance agents actually are company employees, not independent contractors. Attorneys for agents and former agents say ruling could ultimately cost American Family over one billion dollars in restored ERISA benefits. NASDAQ Globe Newswire
Singer v. Postmates Inc. 2017 Could the Gig Be Up? case Postmates, a courier company, reached a preliminary settlement of $8.75 million. A California court has not determined conclusively whether the workers are, in fact, employees or ICs and both parties face further substantial risk of further litigation. The settlement agreement did not require the company to reclassify the couriers as employees. Top Class Action
FedEx 2017 Decade Old Cases Winding Down case FedEx announced that it had reached a $240 million settlement in its class action suit across 20 states for misclassifying workers as independent contractors upon court approval. This, on top of a $226 million in California for the same problem, means that the package delivery service will end up paying $466 million for its failure to properly classify workers. Pepper Hamilton

Recent Legislative Activity

Legislative ActionHeadlineCase SummarySource
Independent Contractor Misclassification – DOL Withdraws Guidance Less Guidance – Relaxing Standards on IC case U.S. Department of Labor has withdrawn guidance issued during the Obama Administration related to independent contractors and joint employment. Brunini Law
CT Supreme Court – ABC Test Clarification Can CT ICs work with ONLY one company? case Connecticut Supreme Court decision clarified the “C” prong of the state’s “ABC” test for independent contractor status under that state’s unemployment insurance law. Connecticut Law Blog
NC Worker Misclassification- Tax Bill Signed Into Law New NC Employee Fair Classification Act case North Carolina Governor signed legislation that will help workers when employers intentionally misclassify them as independent contractors to avoid paying taxes and other benefits. U.S. News & World Report
NC Capitol Connection
Senate Tax Reform Bill No Longer Includes Gig Economy Shield Gig-Economy Companies are Exposed Again case The Senate tax reform bill no longer includes the protection that had initially been proposed that would have prevented misclassification challenges against most gig economy companies. Fisher Phillips
Could Congress Soon Swoop in to Aid the Gig-Economy? End-of-the-Year Treat case Reports out of Washington DC indicate that gig economy businesses could be in for a year-end bonus in the form of game-changing legislation. Fisher Phillips
Could a Tax Fix the Gig Economy? Tax on Gig-Economy to Ensure Benefits case A group in New York is calling for a fee on all gig-economy transactions in order to provide workers with benefits like paid sick leave. The Atlantic
Federal Government role in the Gig-Economy Worker's Protections Slipping Backwards case Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on the sharing economy to answer a difficult question: Does the gig-economy help reverse economic trends or exacerbate the loss of worker protections? HR Drive