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Federal: Ninth Circuit Says Truck Drivers Were Employees, Not Independent Contractors

June 27, 2014 (1 min read)

Reversing a decision of a federal district court (Southern District of California), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the totality of the undisputed facts indicated that various truck drivers were employees of defendant and not independent contracts, since the company had the right to control the details of the drivers’ work.  Observing that the drivers were required to wear uniforms, were prohibited from wearing earrings, displaying tattoos, and sporting certain designs of facial hair, the control went far beyond that associated with an independent contractor relationship.  Moreover, the company required the drivers to obtain essential tools and that they be leased from the company.  This was yet another indicia of control.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11123 (9th Cir., June 16, 2014) [2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11123 (9th Cir., June 16, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 61.03 [61.03]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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