Can an employer who uses independent contractors to complete deliveries make an employee use their car for deliveries without making them follow the same procedure as the independent contractors?

Recently, I was getting paid hourly doing delivery for my previous employer in their company vehicle. They told me that I would have to use my own car until I provided a letter from my doctor stating the medications I take do not impair my ability to drive and submit to a drug test due to

Asked on March 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not an employee is reimbursed for gas mileage is up to the employer; there is no law which states such a reimbursement must be given. Therefore, unless this action violates the terms of union agreement or employment contract, it is legal. The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. Accordingly, an employee can be treated differently than an independent contractor so long as it is not due to their race, religion, disability, age (over 40), etc.


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