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NLRB turns back time on test used to determine employee status

Joe Mont | February 6, 2019

A bellwether and political acid test of whether the National Labor Relations Board skews pro-business or labor-friendly is how the agency determines who is an “employee” versus who is an “independent contractor.”

In a recent move—likely the first of those of a similar ilk to come—the government agency tasked with enforcing U.S. labor law has turned back the clock to a more business-friendly independent contractor standard, reaffirming the long-standing common-law test used to determine employee status. 

“In doing so, the Board clarified the role entrepreneurial opportunity plays in its determination of independent-contractor status, as the D.C. Circuit has recognized,” the Board said in a statement regarding a Jan. 25 ruling.

The matter at the heart of that policy review is SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., a case involving a unionization push for shuttle-van-driver franchisees working Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

SuperShuttle DFW, an independent business...

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