Maria Anastas discusses independent contractors activities in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Employee versus Independent Contractor: Where’s the Line? How to Make the Proper Call and Stay Out of Court’. She explains that organizations that are considering allowing independent contractors drive the company’s vehicles should take note of the following information:
- There is the concern of misclassification if the independent contractors are utilizing the organization’s vehicles rather than the independent contractors own vehicle
- It also depends on why the independent contractor is utilizing the organization’s vehicles. There could be special circumstances where this usage may be necessary such as security reasons or otherwise, where the employer may need to allow the independent contractor use the organization’s vehicles
- However, if the independent contractor is driving trucks to deliver goods, for example, and the organization does not insist that the independent contractors utilize their own truck, this can be a problem
- Occasional use of the hiring organization’s vehicles can also be considered acceptable
- However, if the independent contractor’s job specifically involves driving around to deliver things or visit customers, for example, the hiring organization should insist that the independent contractors do not use the hiring organization’s vehicles
- It is a totality of circumstances test and there will not be one aspect, such as use of organization’s vehicles, that can bring on misclassification issues
Maria Anastas is a partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC ( www.ogletreedeakins.com ). She represents employers in labor and employment law matters exclusively, with a primary emphasis on traditional labor matters. She also devotes a substantial portion of her practice to providing employers with practical advice on a wide variety of employment law issues. She can be reached at email@example.com.