Are you required to pay the costs of operating your truck? Insurance, gas, repairs, paint, equipment? You may be entitled to all of it back, with triple damages.
A delivery company that outsourced its deliveries to a variety of individuals and companies, was forced to recognize those drivers as employees and not independent contractors. This is significant, because employees are given more rights and benefits than independent contractors.
An independent contractor is classified under Massachusetts law as someone who is performing a service outside the usual course of business. In Martins v. 3PD, Inc., the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that drivers were performing an ordinary and necessary function for the company, meaning that the drivers should be considered employees, even those contracted through another company.
3PD argued that it was not in the delivery business. But the court recognized that 3PD could not operate without the services of the contractors. Therefore, even though the workers had contacts through another company, they were not independent contractors but rather, employees of 3PD. 3PD required these individuals to drive trucks with the 3PD logo, have their performance judged by 3PD, and be disciplined by 3PD.
The court used a simple comparison in the case: someone who installs drywall for a drywall company is an employee, but someone who moves furniture for an accounting firm is an independent contractor. So, if you are someone who performs a crucial task for a company and operates under their guidelines, it is likely that you should be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor under Massachusetts law. Most significantly, employers cannot outsource their costs to their employees, so 3PD may be in deep trouble.
If you drive for a company feel that you perform a crucial task for a company but are considered an independent contractor and not an employee, please call us today.