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deliverykid

Newspaper Carriers and Independent Contract Laws

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I need some help...if possible in finding out what separates the Independent Contractor status from an employee status when it comes to newspaper carriers. Over the years...we have dealt with the newspaper company setting a time for us to be finished with our routes....charging us for complaints....telling us how to perform our jobs and threatening us if it's not done. Charging us for not inserting store papers when it states no where in the contracts that this has to be done. Using their workman's comp to pay for injuries that happen to carriers at the company itself. Adding more work onto the carriers back but not compensating them for that extra work. Is there anyone that can advise me on this issue? It would be very much appreciated.

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Hi deliverykid,

 

Welcome to the forum!  Sorry to hear about your situation.  There are a number of things which differentiate an independent contractor from an employee.  You may want to consult with a local employment attorney if you believe that you may actually be an employee rather than independent contractor.  An employment attorney in your area may be located in the FindLaw directory.

 

You may also want to read the following FindLaw sections for more information on this topic:

Good luck!

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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Thank you so much for the information. This company has once again...overstepped its bounds with us carriers. We received our manifest for the 2 weeks that breaks down what our routes make over the 2 week period and there was a $25 charge for 5 stores that complained about their papers not being inserted for 1 Sunday. This is my father's route and he has 9 total stores....the draw being around 260 just for these stores and....the pay being 5 cents a copy to deliver them. For these 5 stores alone....he is only getting $6 to insert and deliver them. Once they cut our pay down to this 5 cents a copy and took away what is called a topping fee for inserting them....and there being nowhere in the contracts about having to insert these papers....a decision was made to not insert these papers. The company sent out a memo...warning us that they would charge for these papers not being inserted but....that they would be in contact with us before anything was done. No one has contacted anyone about this issue and then we see where they charged this $25 non inserting fee on 5 stores that only make $6 for my fathers route. We have been with this company for 60 years as independent contractors. We're not dummies out there and this has gone too far....with everything else that has been done over the years to us. I appreciate the help with this. As you can see....I am beyond frustrated and angry over what is happening. We have put this off for a few years now but this has been the final straw for all of us.

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You're free to sue your client for breach of contract (such as reading into it terms that do not exist).  Question is, given the term of the contract, whether your father wants the company to terminate it/not renew it at the earliest opportunity.  There will doubtless be carriers/delivery people who are in fact employees of the paper.  The relationship of the company to your father is that of a client, however.

Dad is free to consult with local counsel.

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I want to add too that....for years this company has separated the store routes from the home delivery routes. As of about 4 weeks ago....they changed all of that and got rid of the store route carriers and added the stores onto the backs of the home delivery carriers. I alone...deliver close to 900 houses each Sunday....my brother delivering close to 800 and my dad close to 600. They added 500 store papers to my brothers route and expect him to throw papers and stop at each store and insert them for 5 cents....they added 260 to my father and over a hundred to me. Just to give you an idea of how much they cut the pay 4 weeks ago.....store carriers were making anywhere between 25 cents to 30+ cents a copy...plus a topping fee. They gave us no option other than giving up our entire routes if we didn't want these stores put on our backs. They told us we could take it or leave it....no negotiation on the cut they gave us not only on the store part of it but the cut they gave us on the home delivery part of it as well...although they tell you it's a negotiation of the contracts before you go in to sign them. They have charged us in the past for complaints...charging more than what we make or...made a copy at the time and now they've added this charge for not inserting papers. This is just a bit of what has been done by this company through many years. We're all to the point of dropping everything in their laps....it has gotten that frustrating and that nerve wracking to deal with all of this. Again...thanks for the information. Very much appreciated!

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