meal-restThe California  startup grocer Instacart has started reclassifying some workers in Boston and Chicago as employees instead of independent contractors, according to a report by Bloomsburg News. This comes right after a decision by the California Labor Commission that ridesharing service Uber is responsible for expenses incurred by a driver because they should be classified as an employee. Instacart like Uber, Lyft, and even Fed Ex, had previously classified some of their workforce as independent contractors. The decision in the Uber case may have had a ripple effect among other companies in California who are seeking to avoid adverse rulings.

Employees are often incorrectly categorized as independent contractors by companies, often to save money.   Employees are subject to payroll taxes, Medicare, social security, and other expenses, which are paid in part by the employer.  Employees are also entitled to overtime, minimum wage, and other labor law benefits — which can be expensive for employers.  Companies calling their workers independent contractors can avoid these and other expenses.  However, just because a worker is considered an independant contractor does not actually mean that they are legally independent contractors.  Misclassification cases focus on the labor law violations that are caused when employees are incorrectly classified as independent contractors.

California labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act require proper wages to be paid to employees. Violations of federal and state labor laws can occur when employers misclassify employees as “exempt” from wage and hour laws, when in fact they should be receiving overtime, meal/rest breaks, and other benefits of labor laws. Violations can also occur when employers fail to pay minimum wages,  fail to provide equal pay, unlawfully use unpaid internships, or violate the countless other labor law requirements that must be followed.

AXIS Legal Counsel is a general practice law firm based out of Los Angeles representing clients in class action and individual actions for violations of federal and state labor laws, including California’s wage and hour laws.  For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent you with respect to any wage, hour, or labor law matter, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation, or visit our Employee Rights’ Practice Area or Individual Rights Portal for more information.

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