Minneapolis, MN Transportation Law Attorney, Jason Engkjer, discusses certain topics very important under transportation law today.
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Independent contractors or at least in transportation parlance, owner-operators, are an exceedingly hot topic today. And that includes not just the transportation industry, but the construction industry as well. Over the past several years governmental agencies have been keeping a closer eye on both the transportation industry and construction. And in particular, ensuring that if you are going to be contracting with independent contractors, that you’re doing it correctly, that they are truly independent contractors and they are not employees.
And the reason for that is because certainly independent contractors are treated and they should be treated differently. Many rules and regulations are not going to apply, including employee-type matters, that would apply to employee drivers. And as consequence, governmental agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor have really, really turned up the heat when it comes to looking at the transportation industry, looking over the shoulders, and ensuring that if you’re going to be running an owner-operator program that you’re doing it correctly.
It can be a very, very advantageous thing. An owner-operator program can be very, very good for a transportation company. But as I’ve told a number of clients before, if you’re going to run an owner-operator program, run it properly. And if you’re not gonna run it properly, don’t do it.