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John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4528
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I drive courier company. the company was recently sold and

Customer Question

I drive for a courier company. the company was recently sold and the new owner says I am an independent contractor and now is requiring me to get commercial coverage on my vehicle including cargo coverage I only make 1000 dollars a month and my insurance broker says the coverage they are asking me for will cost almost 400 dollars a month I have been driving for this company for years
JA: OK. The Employment Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Employment Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else important you think the Employment Lawyer should know?
Customer: I am not covered under any workman's comp I get paid on the 15th and the 1st of every month and it seems to me that I am an employe of the company not an independent contractor also there are 2 other drivers not being ask for the same coverage they have not worked for the company near as long as I have and they also drive there own cars
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 9 months ago.

Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is***** have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

Some preliminary questions:

How long have you worked for this company?

Do you answer yes to any of these, and which ones?
1. your employer exercise control over the manner you complete a job(when, where, how you do the work);
2. you usually work under supervision;
3. you work for the employer month after month or year after year instead of completing a job when the contract period ends;
4. your employer or co-worker train you to perform a job in a certain way and you learn your job from watching experienced employees, or attend meetings or courses;
5. you complete the tasks assigned to you, and cannot hire assistants to perform the work you were hired to do;
6. your job and work are part of the daily operations of the business and your assignments are coordinated with other employees in the company, and the success of the business depends upon that work being done. For example, an office clerical worker is probably an employee because his work is coordinated with supervisors and other staff members, while an AC repairman hired by a restaurant to fix the AC unit is probably an independent contractor because during and after that project, he will have little or no interaction with any of the other employees (cooks, bartenders, waitresses, etc.);
7. your services are for the most part available only to the employer and not to the general public;
8. you are an integral part of the employer's business and rarely, if ever,offer your services to someone other than your employer;
9. your employer sets your schedule instead of coming and going as you please;
10. you must work at the employer's place of business, or at another location determined by the employer;
11. your employer pays you on a set schedule in regular amounts by the hour or salary;
12. your employer determines the order in which you must complete certain jobs,especially if the same outcome could be achieved by doing the tasks in a different order;
13. your employer gives you materials and tools needed to complete the job;
14. you typically work for one company instead of several customers at the same time.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have worked for the company since 2012. And answer yes to most of your questions
Expert:  John replied 9 months ago.

Unarguably then you are not a contractor; you are an employee. That being said - a) the employer must provide workers comp coverage, pay fica futa (wage tax) and provide unemployment compensation premiums to the state. The cargo coverage on your own vehicle is not unlawful -- employees can be asked to pay for all sorts of things for their employment (uniforms, tools etc.).

At this point, because you haven't worked for this particular employer very long, your damages aren't that great. So it wouldn't be worth suing to enforce your "employee" status. You could quit though and file for unemployment compensation...you would want to be sure however to have proof (hopefully something in writing) of what the employer is demanding of you in case the unemployment agency challenges your claim.