Liveops has prevailed in the lawsuit! To read the article click here!
To view all posts related to the Liveops Lawsuit click here.
A few days ago, I made a post on how Liveops, one of the largest known work at home companies, is being sued by two of it's agents. In one day, my blog received more hits that I have seen the whole month. At the same time, I have noticed that people have had a few misconceptions when reading my post, so I want to clarify it now.
Though I side with Liveops and hope that they win, there is an extremely fine line between an independent contractor and an employee. The IRS uses three categories to determine the difference: Type of Relationship, Behavioral Control, and Financial Control. Liveops could be on either side of the fence with these. For example, Liveops does control how its agents behave. An agent can't say random things to a customer, scripts must be followed, sometimes verbatim. Secondly, as I said in my last post, signing a contract saying that you understand that you are only an Independent Contractor does NOT always mean that you are one. For example, in 1996, someone filed a class action lawsuit against Microsoft for almost the exact same reason. Microsoft had been hiring people as independent contractors who had to sign a contract saying that they were such. The U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard the case. One of the main arguments was that people had their jobs defined by Microsoft, and worked for long periods of time (usually years.) Many agents at Liveops have been doing the exact same thing. In that case, Microsoft settled before a decision was reached, for almost $100 million dollars! Similar things have happened to Time Warner and other large companies.
So basically, it is up to the judge to decide on this one, and he could go either way. If Liveops loses the case, they might have to change all of its agents to employees, and as I said in my last post, most of them probably will not want a set pay, as it could be a lot less than what is made now. This could be a landmark case for all call order work at home companies, so let's hope for the best!
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