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May 14, 2010
Precedence Setting Regarding Owner-Operators and Independent Contractor Status

Maria Anastas discusses precedence setting regarding owner-operators 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 answers the question regarding the classification of owner-operators as independent contractors. An example is a transportation company with its own fleet of vehicles but also employs owner-operators as truck drivers.

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She provides the following information regarding what organizations need to know about precedence setting for owner-operators who are employed by an organization:

  • There will be precedence and it will depend on what agency is involved or what agency is most likely to have an interest in the issue
  • Some jurisdictions have their own rules and guidelines
  • There is no nationwide-rule or nationwide-precedence related to owner-operators
  • Precedence setting also depends on which legal issue is being raised
  • Some jurisdictions can determine that owner-operators are not independent contractors

Maria Anastas is a partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC ( ). 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

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