[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Is Your Paperboy a Private Contractor? | 11-16-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
75°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 16
1947 - Newhall Hardware opens on Spruce Street, now called Main Street [story]


Guest Commentary by Carl Kanowsky Esq.
| Friday, Nov 16, 2012

Carl Kanowsky, Esq.

Johnny, my 12-year-old neighbor, obviously had been watching too much “Leave It To Beaver” and other 1950s-era television shows.  He had a distorted view of things.  For instance, he wanted to know why we had so few blacks and Hispanics back then.  Clearly everyone was white, right?

As I talked to him some more, I realized  he was living in a world populated by Eddie Haskell and Ward and June.  It struck home how much he was out of it when he asked me how he could become a paperboy.  You know, the kid riding up and down neighborhood streets flinging papers from a basket on the front of his bike?  In fact, the little entrepreneur had a plan to get some of his buddies together to take over the paper’s distribution.  He was even talking about printing his own weekly.

I determined then to bring Johnny back to reality.  I didn’t want him to have a distorted view of the world.  Plus, his poor mom was recently divorced, so I thought a little male bonding would help.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that she was the model for Hooters and Tilted Kilt.

“Johnny, it’s admirable that you want to start your own business, but kid, you’ve got to wake up and smell the coffee,” I told him.  He looked at me, utterly confused.  So I decided to clue him in.

I explained that since a 2008 court of appeals ruling, he would have to carry workers’ compensation coverage on all of his friends who were delivering his paper.  After seeing the glazed look in his eyes, I told him the story of the Antelope Valley Press.

The AVP, apparently like many other newspapers, wanted to avoid classifying its delivery people as employees.  If these folks were considered employees, then AVP’s workers’ compensation premiums would soar.

So they set up a structure where the delivery personnel were classified as independent contractors.  They had all of them sign an Independent Contractor Agreement where they agreed they weren’t employees and that they’d be responsible for their own workers’ compensation and employment taxes.  They had to use their own cars (another problem for Johnny, as none of his friends could drive); they could determine their own sequence of delivery (so long as everyone had their paper by 6 a.m.); and they could dress however they wanted.

But there were severe consequences if they failed to follow AVP’s delivery rules.  Papers to paying customers had to be wrapped in one color of plastic while free papers were in a different color.  The delivery people had to pick up the papers by a certain time or risk losing the right to deliver for that day.  The papers had to arrive dry and in the location specified by the customer.  Failure to do this could lead to fines and eventual discharge from the delivery ranks.  Supervisors toured the neighborhoods to check up on how well the paper was being delivered.

State Fund, AVP’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, decided that this sounded more like an employment situation and not independent contractors.  So it raised AVP’s premium accordingly.  AVP challenged that decision, and the dispute eventually wound up at the court of appeals, which agreed with State Fund.  The court ruled that AVP exerted more control than was appropriate in a true independent contractor relationship.

“So, Johnny, not only will you have to pay your friends to deliver your weekly rag; you’ll also have to cover them with workers’ comp,” I said.

Johnny was in tears, and obviously bewildered.  He ran home.  And his hot divorcee mom?  She came over, slapped me and told me to never talk to her kid again.

Ah, the youth of today.  I think I want to go back to Mapleton Drive.

 

Carl Kanowsky is an attorney in Santa Clarita. He can be reached at cjk@kanowskylaw.com. Visit him online at www.kanowskylaw.com.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Friday, Aug 11, 2017
There is no doubt the vast majority of Democrats and liberals loathe Trump. Certainly all of the leftists thoroughly hate him, and they have some company. They’re called Republicans.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017
In his August message to the community, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin details the city's emergency preparedness resources.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
As our first president George Washington said, “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
Sunday, Jul 30, 2017
Many shocking surprises have shown up around the world as the ice melts. We’ve found a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, a field of dead reindeer that died of anthrax, and then last year, infected people in Russia, and in Alaska, an Air Force plane that disappeared was finally found in the Colony Glacier. It had crashed in 1952, killing everyone on board.
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
When President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review the status of 27 national monuments created by three former presidents, many across the nation took it as a call to action to advocate on behalf of the monuments closest to their homes, and their hearts.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Farmers and environmentalists are lining up to battle the $16.7 billion California WaterFix tunnels project proposed for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Farmers, Environmentalists Join to Fight California ‘WaterFix’ Project
There's a new Grizzly at Golden Valley High School as Matt Sorensen has been named the school's new head baseball coach.
Matt Sorenson New Head Baseball Coach at Golden Valley
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to conduct burglary suppression operations in our valley. Plus, Representative Steve Knight sat down with local law enforcement to discuss the current state and future role of policing in the SCV. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Saugus Union School Board is establishing a committee to advise on the development of policies and procedures for the sale or lease of surplus real property owned by the District.
Saugus Board Creates Surplus Property Advisory Committee
The SCV Sanitation Board has provided an update in its efforts to comply with the state-mandated chloride limit, including finalizing the Recirculated EIR released for public comment in May.
SCV Sanitation Board Finalizing EIR Due August 18
"Music, Volume 1," the latest album by platinum recording artist and CalArts' School of Music namesake Herb Alpert, recently reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
Herb Alpert’s Latest Album Tops Billboard Jazz Chart
The Castaic Union School District's Governing Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 17 at 5 p.m.
August 17: Castaic Schools Governing Board Special Meeting
MannKind Corp. is moving its corporate headquarters to Westlake Village, after nearly 17 years in Valencia, according to the latest quarterly report it filed with the SEC.
MannKind Corp. Moving from Valencia to Westlake Village
CalArts grads Mark Bradford and Sharon Lockhart headline the Un-Private Collection artist talk at the Orpheum Wednesday night, presented by the Broad museum of contemporary art.
August 16: CalArtians Mark Bradford, Sharon Lockhart at Broad in L.A.
Santa Clarita Valley International School has hired veteran coach Ken Erenberg as athletic director, the school announced today.
Ken Erenberg Named SCVi Athletic Director
The Los Angeles Dodgers took the first of the two-game Interleague series with a 6-1 victory over the White Sox at Dodger Stadium Tuesday night.
Dodgers Soil White Sox 6-1 Tuesday
40 oz. to Freedom arrives in Santa Clarita as part of its anniversary tour at Concerts in the Park at Central Park on Saturday, August 19, with showtime at 7 p.m.
August 19: 40 Oz. to Freedom Rocks Central Park
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today submitted a letter to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation during a public comment period regarding proposed regulations that could lead to the early release of dangerous "nonviolent" inmates and diminish victim rights.
Wilk Urges Public Safety When Releasing ‘Non-Violent’ Felons
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released a statement Wednesday morning, condemning the violence and mourning a death in Charlottesville.
County Commission Mourns Death of Charlottesville Protester
Garrett Hampson, the Cal League’s reigning Player of the Week, slugged a two-run home run to lead the Lancaster JetHawks to a 5-3 win over the San Jose Giants on Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium.
Hampson Stays Hot, Lifts ‘Hawks Over Giants
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested three suspects and seized drugs and weapons in a recent burglary suppression operation.
SCV Deputies Arrest 3, Seize Drugs, Weapons
1947 - Newhall Hardware opens on Spruce Street, now called Main Street [story]
Representative Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, sat down with Santa Clarita law enforcement officials to discuss the current state and future role of policing in the SCV.
Knight, Law Enforcement Officials Hold Roundtable Discussion
From the Facebook page of Shirley Miller, public information officer, social media manager at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station: LASD Carjacker Captured (with some help).
Community Member Tackles Suspected Carjacker
A funeral service for William Clinton Cloyd Sr., a renowned architect and home builder in the Santa Clarita Valley, is being held Wednesday, August 16 in Eternal Valley’s Upper Chapel.
Funeral Services Wednesday for SCV Homebuilder, Architect William Cloyd Sr.
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, deputies are looking for a hit-and-run suspect. Plus, county supervisors have approved a motion to a establish a Blue Ribbon Commission on public safety.. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, August 15, 2017
To kick-start its celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the revival of TMU Theatre Arts, the school is bringing back a favorite.
TMU Celebrates 10th Anniversary Revival of Theater Arts
College of the Canyons is hosting 2017 Professional Development Week — a week of seminars, lectures, and workshops concerning student development and teaching.
COC Professional Development Week Underway
In the fall, College of the Canyons will offer several Associate Degrees for Transfer (AD-T) at the Canyon Country campus, including Business Administration, Psychology, and Sociology.
COC Will Now Offer “Degrees With a Guarantee”
On a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-0, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining, to establish a “Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety” to explore innovative solutions to criminal justice challenges resulting from statewide reform
Supes Approve Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Medicare and Your Diabetes | Commentary by Greg Dill
In recent weeks, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has seen a marked increase in West Nile virus (WNV) activity across its jurisdiction.
County Seeing Increase in West Nile Virus Activity
Arroyo Seco Junior High School will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary on Friday, September 1, with a midday ceremony and festivities.
Sept. 1: Arroyo Seco Junior High Celebrates 50th Anniversary
A veteran investigator of sex crimes in Santa Clarita discussed concerns created by coverage and social media, as part an ongoing KHTS News series.
Social Media Poses New Concerns for Sex Crimes Investigations
On Friday, August 18th, 2017, the California Highway Patrol Newhall Area Office will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.
DUI Checkpoint Scheduled for Friday
Communication With All Life University and founder Joan Ranquet to present upcoming workshops in learning animal communication, energy healing techniques for animals, and death & the art of dying.
Oct. 6-15: Animal Communication Workshops
Join the VIA Education Foundation and the Valley Industry Association in mentoring today's high school students to prepare them for their future.
VIA School Program Looking for Facilitators to Mentor Students
The city of Santa Clarita will host the 23rd Annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Sept. 22-23: Registration Deadline, Annual River Rally Cleanup
In an effort to make its art holdings more accessible to the public, The Broad, a contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles, created The Un-Private Collection, an ongoing series of conversations with artists whose work is part of The Broad collection.
Aug. 16: CalARTS Alum Featured Artist at The Broad
The city of Santa Clarita has released the list of productions currently ongoing.
Reality TV, Student Projects Among Those Currently Filming in SCV