This last Wednesday, August 9, 2017, Attorney David W. Smith spoke to members of the Florida Messenger Association (FMA) about laws and guidelines for transportation and delivery companies working with independent contractors. The FMA is a growing organization for companies in the messenger, courier, and ‘last mile’ delivery industry. The association is designed to help business conditions in the Florida area by sharing new industry trends, products, and services to help associated companies continue to develop and flourish.
At the FMA event, Lunch and Learn, David W. Smith served as the keynote speaker. Mr. Smith delivered a guided talk titled “Emerging Issues in the Independent Contractor Model,” where he addressed the following topics:
- The IRS’s formerly used “Twenty Factor” test
- New IRS tests, including Behavioral Control, Financial Control, and Type of Relationship
- IRS Safe Harbor for independent contractors, both existing and new
- Removal of Department of Labor 2015 and 2016 guidelines
- Possible results from changing Department of Labor guidelines
- General and specific statutory tests at the state level
- How certain tests have been applied in case law
During his presentation, David Smith discussed the recently proposed house bill, which is aimed at delivery companies. He also shared information about new trends in the Transportation Network Company litigation, which includes companies like Uber and Lyft.
5 Golden Rules
Attorney Smith then provided “5 Golden Rules to Avoid Independent Contractor Trouble,” where he advised members of the FMA on the following key points:
- Never give the IRS any reason to look more closely.
- Never restrict trade.
- Limit policies, procedures, and rules as much as possible.
- Treat your drivers well and fairly.
- Use a great, up-to-date independent contractor agreement.