Minimizing Wage and Hour Risks With an Evolving On Demand Workforce

Mitigating Claims Arising From the Use of "Gig Workers," Freelancers, Contractors and Interns

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

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Conducted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will equip employment counsel with the tools necessary to tackle increasing wage and hour liability risks companies face in the emerging “gig economy” with the rapidly growing use of “on demand” workers. The panel will evaluate the risks both traditional and app-based companies face when their workforce includes on demand workers, freelancers, interns or contractors, and offer strategies for avoiding or minimizing liability and potential claims.


More and more workers are joining the “gig economy,” forgoing a 9-to-5 job for income through a combination of freelancing, contracting, internships and on demand assignments. The ubiquity of smartphones and mobile apps allows individuals to remain connected and available for work around the clock, on schedules that suit the workers. Companies reap savings by reducing overhead expenses, including employment taxes and benefits.

Both on demand and traditional companies see benefits as well. While one on demand company has fewer than 4,000 employees, more than 160,000 individuals provide services to customers through its app. Another company in the computer industry directly employs only a small fraction of the one million+ individuals who help design, make and sell its products.

However, as classifications become more nebulous in a changing workforce, plaintiffs’ lawyers and federal and state agencies are taking notice and an increasing number of lawsuits have been filed against on demand companies by workers alleging violations of federal and state labor laws. The DOL expressed the position that most workers qualify as employees under the FLSA, in guidance that is widely perceived to target companies using on demand workers. A federal court in California recently allowed a lawsuit filed by on demand drivers to proceed as an employment class action.

Listen as our distinguished panel of employment law attorneys evaluates the risks both traditional and app-based companies face when their workforce includes on demand workers, freelancers, interns or contractors. The panel will describe potential areas of liability exposure and explain strategies to avoid or minimize liability and potential claims.



  1. Potential areas of liability exposure with on demand workers, freelancers, contractors, interns
  2. Review of pending litigation against on demand companies
  3. Best practices for all companies on limiting liability for wage and hour claims


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the best practices for businesses to avoid misclassification claims of gig and similar workers?
  • How can companies using on demand workers protect themselves against potential wage and hour claims without abandoning their innovative business model?
  • What factors does the DOL consider when determining whether a worker is an “employee”—and what are solid arguments against employment status?


Thomas M. McInerney
Thomas M. McInerney

Office Managing Shareholder
Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart

Mr. McInerney has extensive employment litigation experience in complex litigation matters, with an emphasis on class...  |  Read More

Ruzal, Jeffrey
Jeffrey H. Ruzal

Senior Counsel
Epstein Becker and Green

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

Robert S. Whitman
Robert S. Whitman

Seyfarth Shaw

Mr. Whitman is a partner in the firm's Labor and Employment Department with extensive experience representing...  |  Read More

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