Can employers classify couriers as independent contractors?
Probably not in Connecticut.
Many employers try to save money by classifying their employees as Independent Contractors. Employers are not allowed to do this unless the workers are truly independent. Connecticut has one of the strictest rules in the country on this topic. It is called the ABC test and it requires that the employer show: (1) that they are free from control, (2) that their work is not the usual work the employer provides or that they don’t work at the employer’s premises, and (3) that the workers is “customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or profession of the same nature.”
Couriers who work for courier companies probably should not be classified as independent contractors in Connecticut. They are (1) usually subject to some control (although they are not being watched while they drive), (2) their work fits squarely within the work of the company, i.e., courier business, and (3) they are usually not customarily established as couriers. Most of these workers do not have their own courier business independent of the employer.
Despite this difficult test in Connecticut, many national courier companies continue to classify their Connecticut drivers as “independent contractors.” They shouldn’t. This classification costs the drivers taxes, workers’ compensation premiums, unemployment benefits and overtime wages. It isn’t fair and the companies are profiting at the drivers expense.