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Man classified as independent contractor allowed to sue

In California, some workers who are classified as independent contractors may be able to bring wage and hour claims if they are able to show that the hiring company was really more akin to an employer than a contracting partner. A recent decision in California affirmed an earlier ruling, finding that the independent contractor determination "test" applies only to certain wage and hour claims.

In the case, a taxicab driver worked with a company called BTG Transportation Group for several years. One year after he stopped working with the company, he filed a lawsuit against it as well as two individuals for a variety of different wage and hour claims. The trial court granted a motion for summary judgment to the defendants, finding that the driver was an independent contractor and so could not sue for wage and hour violations.

However, the plaintiff filed an appeal. While it was pending, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision in a different case in which it adopted a legal test about the employer-independent contractor relationship. Based on that ruling, the appeals court found that the defendants had not met part C of the test to show that the plaintiff was regularly engaged in another business or trade other than his work for the company.

Someone who has a wage and hour dispute with their employer might benefit from consulting with an experienced employment law attorney. The lawyer may review the evidence and provide an honest evaluation of the potential claim. If they agree to accept the case, the attorney may advocate for the client and fight for fair compensation.

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