Don’t Worry, You Will Get Your Goldfish!

May 13, 2024

I was catching up on news this week and saw the Third Circuit ruled Pepperidge Farms Drivers (yes, they deliver the Goldfish crackers) in Pennsylvania were considered contractors, not employees.  The background of the case dealt with three drivers, who were all classified as independent contractors.  They brought a class action claiming they were employees and that Pepperidge Farms violated Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Laws.  Based on a ten (yes, 10) factor test, the Court ruled that they were contractors.   Talk about confusing if you are an employer!

As a business owner, I am worried about how to grow my business in the most profitable manner.  With an already tight, albeit softening, labor market, employers look for ways to meet their staffing needs, while trying to control their expenses.  It is important to understand that onboarding 1099 contractors, hourly staff, salary staff and so on each come with specific rules and regulations.  If you are over 50 employees, you have a different set of rules from those with less than 50 employees and each State has its own nuances.  To shed some light on the situation, below are some helpful articles:

If you need help, I’d recommend reaching out to an HR professional or a Business/Labor Attorney.  Unfortunately, classifying a staff member the wrong way can have some serious consequences if an issue arises. 
A few things that may be of interest: 

As always, please don’t hesitate to email myself (, Andy Miller (, Christian Miller (, Erik Spurlin (, Brad Leber ( or anyone in our office with questions or comments.  
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