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Most companies retain the services of independent contractors, staffing agencies or other contingent labor. We advise companies on the full range of compliance issues arising from the use of a nontraditional workforce, including independent contractors, temporary and staffing agency workers, gig workers, consultants, outsourced services, managed service providers, and other contingent and nonemployee workers.

Representative experience: Advice and counsel
  • We regularly develop customized independent contractor agreements and programs for a broad range of companies, from Fortune 500 and other large multistate employers to smaller regional and single-state businesses. Our Contingent Workforce team clients include household names across many industries.
  • We regularly develop customized staffing agency agreements to be used for staff augmentation, outsourcing, and other purposes, with customized solutions designed to minimize joint employment risks.
  • We have built a unique arbitration setup with independent contractor vendors that has caused plaintiffs in at least four separate misclassification cases to dismiss all claims against our clients with no dollars paid, rather than proceeding after receiving arbitration demand.
  • We proactively redesign independent contractor relationships and install preventive steps to limit potential exposure to independent contractor misclassification claims before they arise.
  • Regularly advise business and civic organizations that use non-employee workers on employee benefit compliance issues, including Affordable Care Act, Internal Revenue Code and employee benefit (ERISA) requirements, and we develop alternative structures to enable such non-employee workers to make their own retirement savings, health insurance and similar arrangements. We draft clauses and agreements with suppliers of nonemployee labor to minimize risks related to misclassification and joint employment.
  • We have created programs to allow independent operator entrepreneurs to have access to a free-standing, tax-qualified plan program and a free-standing, fully insured group health insurance plan program.
  • We advise business organizations in transactional due diligence, including evaluating independent contractor and joint employment compliance risks, and we help guide our clients in redesigning those programs to minimize post-transaction exposure.
Representative experience: Litigation and other disputes
  • Defended a market-leading consumer products company in an enforcement action brought by the California Attorney General, Los Angeles District Attorney and Los Angeles County Counsel, alleging false and misleading advertising, public nuisance and unfair competition.
  • Defended a rideshare company in an enforcement action brought by the California Attorney General and the San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego City Attorneys, alleging the company has misclassified workers as independent contractors.
  • Defended a delivery network company in an enforcement action brought by the San Francisco District Attorney, alleging the company has misclassified workers as independent contractors.
  • Defended dozens of California wage and hour and PAGA claims, both individual and class/collective, including claims related to meal and rest breaks; pay practices; overtime; wage statements; reimbursement of business expenses; and unfair competition.
  • Won dismissal of a class action filed by floor covering installers against a nationwide retailer, alleging independent contractor misclassification and failure to comply with federal background check laws. A federal judge adopted our position in a published opinion, despite contrary guidance from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Negotiated a settlement resulting in our client paying zero dollars in a California class action filed by a class of property inspectors, leveraging contractual clauses drafted by our Contingent Workforce team.
  • Avoided class certification and obtained an extremely favorable settlement in a series of Fair Labor Standards Act putative collective action cases in which cable installers alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a transportation client sued for misclassification by security consultants seeking years of back pay and benefits.
  • Prevailed in a federal court of appeals, reversing the lower court’s finding of independent contractor misclassification for a class of insurance agents.
  • Obtained reversal of an independent contractor misclassification finding by a state department of labor, erasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in assessments. Our team took over the case just three weeks before the hearing, after previous counsel had told the client that the case was unwinnable.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a staffing agency against class action claims that workers were misclassified as independent contractors and were paid incorrectly.
  • Protected and represented clients in misclassification audits brought by the U.S. Department of Labor and various state agencies, obtaining favorable results including reversal of preliminary adverse findings.
  • Defended clients in tax dispute proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service on alleged independent contractor misclassification.
  • Represent and defend business and civic organizations, and the benefit plans they sponsor, fund, or administer, from enforcement actions brought by regulators and from claims brought by workers in civil litigation, involving the alleged wrongful inclusion, or wrongful exclusion, of such workers from such benefit plans.

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