Employers don’t violate the National Labor Relations Act solely by misclassifying employees as independent contractors, according to a decision by the National Labor Relations Board that was announced Aug. 29.
“The board majority held that an employer’s communication to its workers of its opinion that they are independent contractors does not, standing alone, violate the NLRA if that opinion turns out to be mistaken,” the announcement stated. “According to the decision, such communication does not inherently threaten those employees with termination or other adverse action if they engage in activities protected by the NLRA, nor does it communicate that it would be futile for them to engage in such activities.”
The issue arose out of the case of Velox Express Inc., in which the board found workers were employees, not independent contractors. The board also ruled in the case that Velox Express, a provider of medical courier services, violated the National Labor Relations Act when it fired an employee for bringing group complaints from workers to management. However, the board found that the company’s misclassification of employees as independent contractors was not a separate violation.