Connecticut law covers ABCs of independent contractor status

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/14/2013

A new law in Connecticut lawmakers changes a rule that covers the employment status of independent contractors, including owner-operators. It takes effect Oct. 1.

State law now regards truck drivers who work for one motor carrier as employees. The state’s “ABC test” presumes that workers are employees unless they meet three requirements. The test for independent contractors states that workers “must be free from the employer’s control and direction; perform a service outside the employer’s usual course of business or outside of all the employer’s places of businesses; and be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business or the same nature as the service being performed for the employer.”

Currently, a worker can fail the test if he or she provides services for only one employer.

Gov. Dan Malloy signed a bill into law that exempts independent contractors from the one motor carrier requirement.

Truckers welcome the change. Michael Riley of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut said the legislative push was his highest priority bill of the year.

“It lays out the circumstances that an owner-operator could be an independent contractor in Connecticut when working for only one motor carrier,” Riley told Land Line previously.

Owner-operator and OOIDA Senior Member Charlie Marshall of Torrington, CT, spoke at a recent hearing on the bill. He addressed a point made by bill supporters that truck drivers want to be employees.

“I’ve been driving as an owner-operator for 27 years. ... I’ve supported my family and I like what I’m doing and I want to continue what I’m doing,” Marshall testified.

As HB6151 made its way through the statehouse, OOIDA encouraged Connecticut truckers to communicate with their state lawmakers in support of the legislation.

Todd Spencer, the Association’s executive vice president, said not only will the new law directly benefit owner-operators leased to carriers, but it will also help the state be more attractive for creating new trucking business.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Connecticut, click here.

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