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Independent Contractor Misclassification Litigation: Strategies for Defending, Settling, and Minimizing Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide employment counsel to defend and negotiate settlements of litigation alleging employer misclassification of independent contractors. The panel will discuss the latest trends in individual, collective, and class action worker misclassification lawsuits and best practices for establishing and maintaining independent contractor models to help employers minimize or withstand litigation.


In recent years independent contractor misclassification lawsuits have surged against companies of all sizes and industries. The laws governing whether a worker should be classified as an employee or independent contractor are riddled with grey areas, potentially exposing employers to costly litigation, including multiple and punitive damages.

With the IRS, DOL, NLRB, and state governments continuing to closely scrutinize the independent contractor model, individual, collective, and class action worker misclassification lawsuits will only continue to climb.

In light of the growing litigation in this area, employment counsel must develop effective strategies to defend against these lawsuits. Counsel must also craft effective settlement strategies to minimize the time and expense of litigation. Further, employment counsel must guide employers in establishing independent contractor models that can assist them in withstanding heightened scrutiny and minimize the likelihood of litigation.

Listen as our panel of employment law attorneys reviews current litigation trends in independent contractor misclassification cases, provides effective strategies for defending claims and reaching settlements, and explains best practices for establishing and maintaining independent contractor models.



  1. Independent contractor misclassification litigation trends
    1. Notable judgments and settlements
    2. Recent case law
    3. Common recoveries by plaintiffs: overtime pay; loss of retirement contributions, insurance, or stock options; punitive damages; attorney fees
  2. Litigation and settlement strategies
    1. Individual, collective, or class action?
    2. Class certification strategies
    3. Multidistrict litigation considerations
    4. Attorney fee awards
  3. Best practices to limit liability and minimize future claims
    1. Audit contractor and employee job descriptions, job duties, and functions
    2. Reclassify contractors as employees going forward?
    3. Restructure contractor relationships to reduce or eliminate employer control
    4. Compensate misclassified employees for past liability?


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the bases for the recent wave of independent contractor individual, collective, and class action misclassification lawsuits--and what defenses are available to employers?
  • What litigation and settlement strategies have proven effective for counsel defending worker misclassification lawsuits?
  • How can employers establish, defend, and maintain independent contractor models amid the increased government and worker scrutiny in this area?


Ruzal, Jeffrey
Jeffrey H. Ruzal

Epstein Becker & Green

Mr. Ruzal is a member of the firm's Wage and Hour Group and Co-Leads the firm’s Hospitality Strategic...  |  Read More

Silverberg, Dean
Dean L. Silverberg

Epstein Becker Green

Mr. Silverberg practices both public and private-sector labor and employment law, and is actively involved in...  |  Read More

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