If you have been injured on the job as a delivery driver and live or work in the Sacramento area, contact Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney Alice A. Strömbom today for a free case evaluation. She is one of Sacramento’s leading work injury attorneys and works exclusively with injured workers and protects worker’s rights to compensation.
How are delivery drivers classified?
Many delivery drivers in California are justifiably classified as independent contractors. They don’t receive the protection of state or federal wage and hour laws, and their relationship with a company doesn’t put them under the purview of workers’ compensation laws either. In efforts to circumvent an actual employment relationship, businesses have been known to misclassify a person as an independent contractor when in fact, an employer and employee relationship exists. In making the determination of whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee, California looks at the extent of control that a company has over how a person performs his or her job.
California courts have developed a two-pronged test. First, a court is going to look at whether the person for whom services are being rendered has control of the manner and means of how work is performed. If it’s determined that a business has such control, the inquiry stops then and there. The person rendering the services is deemed to be an employee. If the relationship between the parties remains unclear, the following factors are just some of the evidence that will be taken into consideration:
- Whether the worker is involved in a separate and distinct job or business.
- Whether the work is being performed pursuant to the principal’s supervision.
- Whether it’s the principal or the worker who supplies the instruments, tools and place of work.
- How long services are to be performed for.
- If payment is made hourly or per job.
- Whether the parties believe that an employer and employee relationship exists.
Facts Prove or Disprove Control
The fact that a written independent contractor agreement exists between the principal and the worker isn’t determinative of their relationship. Neither is a 1099 form. Courts are permitted to ignore those if the facts of the case and conduct of the parties show a different relationship. As a matter of public policy, recent California court decisions involving delivery drivers seem to be leaning in an employer and employee direction.
The FedEx Cases
Two California cases involving FedEx help to determine when a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee. Both courts decided that FedEx controlled how delivery drivers did their jobs. The hats, shoes and socks they wore, the style of their hair, the vehicles that they drove, their arrival time for work and even attendance at mandatory meetings were all controlled by FedEx. Based on these factors, one of the courts determined that “the work performed by the drivers was wholly integrated into FedEx’s operation. The drivers looked like FedEx employees, acted like FedEx employees and were paid like FedEx employees.” It concluded that customers were FedEx customers and not the customers of FedEx delivery drivers.
The degree of control that the principal has in these types of cases is determinative. You’ll want to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation with us if classification of your employment status comes to issue in a workers’ compensation claim. If we enter into a retainer agreement with you, no legal fees at all are due unless we obtain a settlement or award for you. Your principal might be getting the best of both worlds by misclassifying you.
Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Attorney Alice A. Strömbom focuses exclusively on Workers’ Compensation Law. She is very familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to avoid providing the medical treatment and disability benefits injured workers deserve, and has a recognized track record in combating such issues.
Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation.