Even as the New Jersey legislature contemplates amendments to the law (similar to those enacted in New York) limiting the classification of certain truck drivers as independent contractors, a New Jersey federal judge has granted an industry employer’s motion to dismiss claims that its drivers were misclassified as independent contractors. Luxama v. Ironbound Express, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90879 (D.N.J. June 27, 2013).
Analyzing the economic realities of the relationship as set forth in the complaint and in Defendant’s moving papers under F.R.C.P. 12, the court concluded that plaintiffs had failed to plausibly assert the requisite control to move forward with their claims under the FLSA. However, the Court granted plaintiffs leave to re-plead.
Independent contractor classification remains a hot button issue for employers, legislators and contractors themselves. Employers must monitor their use of contractors under federal and applicable state law and keep abreast of industry litigation and administrative enforcement trends.