Last Friday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that an independent contractor for gig economy firm Grubhub Inc. was correctly classified and not an employee. Media reported it’s the first federal court decision on whether gig economy workers are independent contractors, and the judge raised the possibility that legislators may review how the law defines independent contractor. However, that’s not the only news affecting use of independent contractors:

  • And while the judge in the Grubhub case ruled the gig workers were independent contractors, a French labor tribunal earlier this month also found that an Uber driver was an independent contractor and not an employee. The ruling contrasted with a separate ruling in London that found Uber drivers should be classified as employees.
  • The Tennessee Senate approved a bill that makes clear gig economy workers from online staffing platforms are independent contractors, not employees. The law requires six conditions to be met in writing. However, the bill does not cover drivers who work for transportation network companies such as Uber. USA Today reported the bill would affect other firms such as an online app called Takl. A similar bill in the house has not yet been approved.
  • Three constructions companies in the Queens borough of New York were convicted of failing to pay 150 workers more than $370,000 in wages because they were misclassified as independent contractors, according to an announcement by New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman. The companies include Lotus-C Corp., Johnco Contracting Inc. and RCM Painting Inc.; per the plea agreements, they must pay $371,447.01 in unpaid wages and $359,747.86 in unpaid unemployment contributions to the New York State Department of Labor. The companies will also be dissolved as part of the plea agreement and the principals will be barred from bidding on public works contracts in New York State for five years.
  • The California Supreme Court earlier this month heard oral arguments in a case that could affect how a worker is classified, according to a blog post by Rabia Reed and Ryan McCoy of law firm Seyfarth Shaw. The case is Dynamex Operations v. Superior Court. The court is expected to deliver its decision within 90 days.