Whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor often depends on how much control the alleged employer has over the worker’s behavior. While specific employment agreements and contracts differ, an employer generally has the right to exact more control over an employee’s behavior than over an independent contractor’s behavior.
Two independent contractors in California say they were intentionally misclassified by the cleaning-service startup Handy. Like other new companies such as Lyft and Uber, Handy uses a contractor model to provide on-demand services. The two contractors suing the company are seeking class-action status for their lawsuit, which alleges that Handy has committed a range of violations of the California Labor Code.
Those alleged violations include failure to provide workers with overtime pay, tips, paid breaks and minimum wages. The lawsuit also claims that Handy closely controls the behavior of independent contracts. For example, the company allegedly tells contractors how to dress, what cleaning products to use and how to carry out cleaning duties. Because of this, the contractors say they should be classified as employees.
If the lawsuit is given class-action status and the cleaners win, then each of them in California could receive up to $4,000.
An article in Business Insider has more on Handy’s business history and the company’s investors.
Whether you’re a plaintiff or a defendant in a labor dispute, it is important that you have skilled legal counsel to help you resolve the matter. Federal and state labor laws are complex, and a full-service legal team with experience in employment law and business law can assess your case and work toward a cost-efficient solution.