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Massachusetts Laws

Federal Laws

Selected Case Law

Web Sources

Print Sources


Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.149, s.148B Classification standard for independent contractors in Mass.

Federal Laws

Internal Revenue Service Revenue Ruling 87-41 links to PDF file Establishes the federal "twenty point test."

Selected Case Law

Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Coakley , 769 F.3d 11 (2014)
The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act ("FAAAA") preempts the second  "prong of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 148B(a)(2), which requires that workers perform a service "outside the usual course of the business of the employer" to be classified as independent contractors." Workers cannot be classified as independent contractors, therefore, just because they "perform delivery services within the usual course of business for the delivery companies." 

Schwann et al. vs. Fedex Ground Package System links to PDF file , US Dist. Ct. Mass. (2015) and Remington et al vs. J.B. Hunt, Inc. links to PDF file US Dist. Ct. Mass. (2015). Although MDA v. Coakley, above, determined that the second prong of the test was preempted, "the entire statute must be treated as preempted. ...FAAAA preempts section 148B as applied to motor carriers." 

Somers v. Converged Access, Inc. , 454 Mass. 582 (2009)
The measure of damages is not "measured by subtracting the compensation the plaintiff obtained as an independent contractor from the compensation the plaintiff would have received had he been hired as an employee. We conclude that this measure of damages contravenes both the plain meaning and the primary purpose of the independent contractor statute and the wage act. An employee misclassified as an independent contractor, as a matter of law, is an employee; his contract rate is his wage rate; and his "damages incurred" equal the value of wages and benefits he should have received as an employee, but did not."

Web Sources

Print Sources

Employment Status: Employee v. Independent Contractor , Tax Management Portfolio, loose-leaf

Independent Contractor v. Employee , MCLE, 2011


Last update: February 16, 2017

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