When labor disputes evolve into litigation, an employment expert is called upon to consult and testify on employee benefits, compensation plans, employment contracts, labor management, and related matters. Employers often have a unique set of standards pertaining to their human resource practices. The employment expert witness is experienced in evaluating differing policies regarding hiring, employee benefits, and fair employment practices.
FedEx Ground Package System Inc. has agreed to pay $240M to settle lawsuits brought by 12,000 drivers who claim they were misclassified as independent contractors. When classified as independent contractors, workers don’t receive benefits and pay their own self-employment tax. Uber Technologies has also been charged with misclassification. Uber considers its drivers independent contractors, not employees. As such, the company is not responsible for paying Social Security or workers’ compensation insurance.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors states:
The misclassification of employees as independent contractors presents one of the most serious problems facing affected workers, employers and the entire economy.
Misclassified employees often are denied access to critical benefits and protections to which they are entitled, such as the minimum wage, overtime compensation, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and safe workplaces. Employee misclassification generates substantial losses to the federal government and state governments in the form of lower tax revenues, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds. It hurts taxpayers and undermines the economy.