Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C.
Pyle, Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan, P.C The Labor, Employment and Class Action Attorneys
Independent Contractor Misclassification

We have brought many cases representing groups of employees who allege they have been misclassified as independent contractors, in Massachusetts and around the country.  When companies misclassify their workers as independent contractors, these employees are often deprived of many benefits including overtime pay, vacation pay, health insurance, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and expense reimbursements. Misclassified employees also do not receive unemployment and workers' compensation benefits to which they are entitled.  Companies that misclassify employees as independent contractors save these significant costs and also do not pay the employers’ share of employment taxes.

We have won a number of important victories applying the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law.  The courts have granted our motions for summary judgment, ruling that workers were misclassified as independent contractors in cases we have brought on behalf of package delivery drivers, an oil delivery driver, exotic dancers, and cleaning workers

We have also brought many cases representing cable installers who have been misclassified as independent contractors.  In April of 2013 we obtained a ruling granting class certification in a case against cable installment company Gab Telecom, Inc.  Current and former workers of Gab Telecom, Inc. have the right to join this case to challenge their misclassification and recover unpaid overtime.  If you, or anyone you know has worked for Gab Telecom, Inc., please contact us immediately.

In another significant ruling we obtained, Somers v. CAI, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that an employer that misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor cannot defend itself by claiming that it paid the misclassified independent contractor more than it would have paid had the individual properly been classified as an employee. 

In the first case of its kind in Massachusetts, we have obtained a court ruling that exotic dancers were misclassified as independent contractors.  The judge certified the case as a class action and granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs.  The Boston Globe editorial page praised this victory for workers who had been “stripped by the boss”.

Also, in the first decision of its kind, we obtained a court ruling that cleaning workers who had purchased “franchises” from a cleaning franchise company, Coverall North America, were misclassified as independent contractors. In 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the “franchise fees” paid by these workers, as well as other payments, are illegal, since it violates Massachusetts public policy to sell a job to a worker.  Read about our other cases challenging cleaning franchising companies with misclassification of workers and unfair and deceptive business practices. 

We have obtained classwide settlements in cases against such companies as Express Courier, Eastern Connection, and Publishers Circulation Fulfillment (PCF). Some of the companies we are now litigating independent contractor misclassification cases against include FedEx, 3PD, Lasership, and the Training Associates.  Click here for more information on our FedEx cases

We have recently filed a case against the City of Boston and several cab companies on behalf of Boston cab drivers, alleging that they have been misclassified as independent contractors and have been subjected to egregious wage violations.  For a copy of the complaint, click here.

For more information or if you think you may be a misclassified employee please contact Scott Simpson at ssimpson@llrlaw.com.

For some of our independent contractor misclassification cases in the news, see the links below:

This Boston lawyer could be Uber's nemesis as it eyes expansion
XConomy | May, 2014

Strippers suing Columbia clubs, claim they weren't paid
The State | April, 2014

US Labor, NY tackle employees disguised as franchisees
Blue MauMau | November, 2013

Cable company loses bid to end overtime class action
Law360 | October, 2013

Uber's other legal mess: Drivers sue over missing tips
Business Week | August, 2013

Uber sued again over tip-skimming claims, case could go national
Xconomy | August, 2013

Lawsuit alleges Uber unfairly withholds tips from drivers
San Francisco Bay Guardian | August, 2013

11th Circ. revives cable installers' contractor status case
Law 360 | July, 2013

Case to Watch: Cable workers' case raises classification questions
Thomson Reuters | May, 2013

Strippers subjected to discriminatory practices
Guardian Express | March, 2013

US law doesn't trump truckers' wage claims, Judge says
Law 360 | March, 2013

Strippers vs. clubs in fight over labor rights
CNN | March, 2013

New ruling on benefits for exotic dancers
Wall Street Journal | February, 2013

Bimbo unit to pay $3.5M to settle drivers' benefits suit
Law 360 | November, 2012

Organized labor's newest heroes: Strippers
The Atlantic | November, 2012

Another lawsuit filed on wage issues of cab drivers
Dorchester Reporter | November, 2012

FedEx drivers awarded class cert. in misclassification suit
Law 360| August, 2012

Shannon Liss-Riordan on cab drivers lawsuit (Audio)
NPR News | March, 2012

Boston cab drivers sue over low pay (Video)
BNN News | March, 2012

Citing high costs, 2 Boston cab drivers file suit
WBUR | March, 2012

Medallion system shackles cabbies
Boston Globe | March, 2012

Boston cabdrivers sue city and fleet owners
Boston Globe | March, 2012

Boston cabbies rev up misclassification action
Law 360 | March, 2012

Exotic dancers score class cert. in FLSA action
Law 360 | November, 2011

Contractor law leaves lawmakers juggling job, benefit concerns
State House News Service | November, 2011

Exotic dancers stripped of their rights are leading the fight to save class-action suits
New Haven Advocate | August, 2011

Stripper FLSA suit raises new arbitration issues: Judge
Law 360 | June, 2011

Stripper 'Consultant' strikes back against boss
The Fiscal Times | March, 2011

Exotic dancers claim clubs break labor laws by not paying wages
Connecticut Law Tribune | January, 2011

Cable guys hit BroadBand with wage action
Law 360 | October, 2010

Freelancing beats the alternative for many
Los Angeles Times | April, 2010
"What they're doing is tearing at the fabric of the New Deal protections that have been in place for decades to protect workers," - Shannon Liss-Riordan.

U.S. cracks down on 'Contractors' as a tax dodge
New York Times | February, 2010
(Featuring our client Fritz Elienberg, a plaintiff in the cases against RCN and Comcast).

Contractors feeling used, abused
St. Petersburg Times | December, 2009

More strippers file lawsuits
Bostonist.com | September, 2009

Audio clip Video Interview
Shannon Liss-Riordan discusses Boston strippers lawsuit
Legal Broadcast Network
August, 2009

Mass. court favors employee in classification suit
Law 360 | August, 2009

Strippers come out on top in misclassification action
Law 360 | August, 2009

Amended suit charges TripAdvisor with retaliation
The Boston Globe | March, 2009

Independent contractor decision has lawyers wary
Mass Lawyers Weekly | December, 2008

Court says newspaper carrier can keep jobless benefits
Boston Herald | September, 2008

Ex-editor challenges TripAdvisor labor policies
Boston Globe | July, 2008

Audio clipAudio Interview
Shannon Liss-Riordan discusses challenging TripAdvisor labor practices
Legal Broadcast Network
July, 2008

Delivery Drivers Sue Boss
Boston Herald | May, 2008

We are also challenging several cleaning companies for deceptive business practices and misclassification of cleaning workers as independent contractors. For more information on those cases, click here.

Independent Contractor


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