Hicks v. Mulhallan, 2008 WL 1995143 (D.N.J. May 5, 2008) – Weighing in on the ongoing controversy regarding the proper classification of workers, the federal court here held that a driver working for a courier service was an independent contractor, not an employee, and thus, not entitled to protection under Title VII, the NJLAD, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the State Wage and Hour laws.

Hicks, who worked as a courier for Priority Express, filed suit alleging discrimination and wage and hour violations.  In determining that Hicks was an independent contractor and not an employee, the Court relied on various factors: Hicks controlled the means and methods of his service – he selected his delivery route and could accept or reject any delivery assignment; Hicks owned the vehicle used for deliveries and was responsible for the operation and maintenance of that vehicle and for all expenses; Priority Express did not pay Hicks a salary, but rather paid him on a fee basis, nor did it take the usual payroll deductions from him; and the agreement between Hicks and Priority Express stated that he was to be an independent contractor.

Note: This article was published in the June 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.
 
 


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