NLRB Memo Lays Out Misclassification Theory

August 30, 2016
By Lawrence E. Dubé

Aug. 29 – The National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel released a legal memorandum explaining his theory that an employer committed an unfair labor practice by misclassifying employee drivers as independent contractors (Pac. 9 Transp., Inc. , NLRB Div. of Advice, No. 21-CA-150875, 12/18/15 [released 8/26/16]).

The unfair labor practice theory involving worker misclassification hasn’t previously been tested before the NLRB or the courts, but the memorandum shows that’s the approach the general counsel will likely follow in other independent contractor disputes.

In the memorandum released Aug. 26, the NLRB’s Division of Advice wrote that by misinforming drivers they were independent contractors, Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. interfered with the drivers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act to organize or engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid or protection.

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