New York Partner Richard Reibstein
, Co-Head of Locke Lord’s Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance Practice, was quoted by Law360 on the recent federal court finding that 7-Eleven had properly classified franchisee owners in California as independent contractors.
The franchisees claimed they were employees and entitled to reimbursement of their expenses under California law.
Reibstein said the case was not a typical misclassification lawsuit, and some franchisors have been found to have misclassified franchisees in that state due to their extensive control over how the franchisees performed their services. However, he also noted that 7-Eleven's counsel was able to bring before the court "substantial and compelling evidence" to prove the company's control was only incidental.
"The 7-Eleven decision demonstrates how long-standing and well-established franchise operations, which permit franchisees to determine how to operate their franchised business, should be free from independent contractor misclassification claims," he added.
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