May 2022: Driver Misclassification Meeting Recap

On March 31st, 2022 BGS Attorneys Carole Clark Isakson and Erik Ordahl presented a seminar on driver misclassification to members of the Duluth Superior Transportation Association, on which Carole serves as a board member.

Driver classification issues are a critical concern in the trucking industry, and the seminar provided attendees with detailed information on the factors considered by state and
federal agencies in determining whether an independent owner-operator should be considered an employee for tax, unemployment, liability, wage and hour and other purposes.

Most tests focus on the control and direction an employer exercises over the driver and also include analysis related to the economic realities of the relationship. While a strong
contract hauling or other agreement between the carrier and driver is helpful to prove that the driver is truly independent, it is critical that the parties follow the contract terms. And because the tests used differ depending on the issue before the particular court or agency, the outcome and analysis can differ even when the facts are very similar. This
makes navigating the issues a challenge for motor carriers. Special attention was paid to a California law designated as AB-5 which codified an employee learning test and has
resulted in much concern in the industry — issues relating to this law have been brought to the US Supreme Court.

Carole Clark Isakson