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Classification of ride sharing drivers remains a question

The issue of job classification is one that has blossomed into something significant in the past year or so. There may be all sorts of reasons why that is but certainly one of them has to be the arrival on the scene of the various on-demand rideshare services that we now see in major cities in Louisiana and across the country.

Another factor that may be contributing to the debate is government suspicion that employers in a variety of industries are increasingly choosing to identify workers as independent contractors when they should be listed as employees. As we noted in a post last month, officials at the state and federal levels are concerned that it's an effort to avoid labor law and tax obligations.

But it is companies such as Uber and Lyft that seem to be the focus of a lot of the attention. And it would seem that based on recent actions by a number of state legislatures that the stage could be being set for a major legal showdown. Right now, the waters over this issue in Louisiana seem to be still, but we find it possible that the situation could change at some point.

Specifically of note is that while legal challenges are under way in some West Coast states over how rider service drivers should be classified, lawmakers in at least five states are moving to ensure that the drivers are designated as independent contractors -- in line with Uber's claimed business model. Three states have passed such measures and two others are considering such bills.

How this matter will eventually play out is anyone's guess right now. In the meantime, where questions about classification exist, business disagreements are possible. Whether you are an employer or an employee caught in such a conundrum, consulting with experienced legal counsel is the way to pursue equitable resolution to the problem.

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