independent contractor newspaper delivery

Newspaper Delivery Persons Not Considered Employees, Do Not Qualify for Certain Benefits

A New York Senate bill has excluded newspaper delivery persons from all connection to the terms “employee,” “employer,” and “employment” …barring certain conditions. Newspaper delivery companies in New York should be cautiously optimistic about the implications of this law.

New York Senate Bill No. 6469

New York Senate Bill No. 6469 excludes newspaper delivery persons from benefits such as worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, and minimum wage. According to the bill, the term “employment” excludes services performed by any person who:

  • is engaged in the business or trade of delivering and distributing newspapers or shopping news to consumers (including all services that are directly related to this business or trade);
  • receives remuneration (cash or no) fully in relation to sales or output instead of the number of hours worked; and
  • performs services according to a written contract that states that the person will not be treated as an employee in terms of these services for federal tax purposes.

The Implications for Newspaper Delivery Companies

Before this bill was signed by Governor Cuomo, there was a tremendous amount of adverse case law. Now that the status of newspaper delivery contractors has been clearly defined, and that they can lawfully be considered independent contractors, delivery companies stand a better chance of success.

However, there is still a need for caution. Note that as stated above, the provisions must all three be met in order for newspaper delivery persons to be excluded from the term “employment.” If your business offers even the smallest amount of remuneration for hours worked, or if you do not offer a written contract, or if your written contract does not clearly delineate the contractor’s status according to these provisions, you are at risk of employee misclassification. On the other hand, you can protect your business by working within the bounds of these provisions. A Carrier should support that he or she is “engaged in the business or trade of delivering and distributing newspapers.”

The fact remains that legislature and regulatory agencies will continue to regard the nature of the business relationships between companies and contractors as the key defining factor in cases of ICs and employee misclassification. Therefore, it is imperative that all business owners in any field, including those engaged in the trade or business of delivering newspapers or shopping news to consumers, should construct legally compliant working relationships with all their contractors.

Our Consultech experts in IC consulting can help you build a business model that is compliant with the law both in contract and in practice. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

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