Cases & Investigations

Independent Contractor Lawsuit: Roadside Service Technicians

CASE STATUS: Pending

On March 16, 2017, Berger & Montague, P.C. filed a class action lawsuit against Inman’s Auto Rescue LP, Michael K. Inman, Inman’s Auto Rescue of Houston, LLC, and Auto Rescue of San Antonio, LLC.

The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to pay proper minimum wage and overtime wages for all hours of work performed by their roadside service technicians. The defendants did this by misclassifying these individuals as “independent contractors” when they should be classified as employees. A copy of the complaint is available here.

If you are a roadside service technician who works for the defendants, contact Berger & Montague. You may be able to join the class action.

What is a roadside service technician?

Roadside service technicians are on-call workers who are dispatched to assist disabled vehicles. Calls for roadside assistance are typically routed through a call center, where dispatchers receive customer calls and alert roadside service technicians that they are needed.

Roadside service technician responsibilities include:

  • Jumping car batteries
  • Unlocking vehicles
  • Changing tires
  • Delivering fuel

Alternative job titles for roadside service technicians include:

  • Auto rescue workers
  • Auto rescue technicians
  • Roadside assistance workers
  • Roadside assistance technicians
  • Roadside service workers
  • Roadside technicians

Why would my employer misclassify me as an independent contractor?

There are two possibilities. The company could be trying to save money-businesses that hire independent contractors instead of employees don’t have to pay unemployment taxes, the minimum wage, overtime pay, or workers’ compensation insurance. The other possibility is that the company is confused by the federal and state labor laws that govern the distinction between employees and independent contractors.

How do I know if I should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee?

According to the Department of Labor (DOL), if you’re in business for yourself, you’re an independent contractor. If you’re economically dependent on the company, you’re an employee. The DOL identifies six factors that determine whether a worker is economically dependent on the company they’re working for:

  1. The extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business: If the work performed by a worker is integral to the employer’s business, it is more likely that the worker is economically dependent on the employer and is therefore an employee.
  2. Whether the worker’s managerial skills affect their opportunity for profit and loss: If the worker’s managerial skills do affect their opportunity for profit and loss, it is less likely that the worker is economically dependent on the employer and is therefore an independent contractor.
  3. The relative investments in facilities and equipment by the worker and the employer: The worker must make some investment compared to the employer’s investment in order for there to be an indication that they are an independent contractor.
  4. The worker’s skill and initiative: The worker’s skills should demonstrate that they exercise independent business judgement in order to suggest they are an independent contractor.
  5. The permanency of the worker’s relationship with the employer: Permanency or indefiniteness in the worker’s relationship with the employer suggests that the worker is an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor.
  6. The nature and degree of control by the employer: An independent contractor generally works free from control by the employer. Analysis of this factor includes who sets pay amounts and work hours, who determines how the work is performed, and whether the worker is free to work for others and hire helpers.

Do I have to pay to consult with an attorney?

We are happy to talk with you about your potential claims free of charge. If we decide to represent you in a lawsuit, we will enter into a written contingent fee agreement with you. A contingent fee agreement means we only get paid if we win, and that we will receive our fees from the amount paid by the Defendant in the case.

Please contact us to discuss the details of your case You may:

  1. Use the contact form on this page
  2. Email info@bm.net
  3. Call (800) 424-6690

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