MOTOR CARRIER (OWNER-OPERATOR AND TITLE VII) / Title VII case alleging sex discrimination for motor carrier’s termination of an owner-operator agreement with plaintiff following a period when such plaintiff had been an “employee” of such motor carrier – held: Title VII does not govern contract relations between a motor carrier and an owner-operator where, applying agency principles provided by state law, such owner–operator relationship truly denotes independent contractor status for the owner-operator. In particular, the fact that owner-operator opted under her contract to elect to receive multiple additional services offered to her by motor carrier did not evidence such motor carrier’s “control” as she had in fact chosen to take them – they were not a precondition of being an owner-operator.

Zents v. Baylor Trucking Co., No. 5:11CV1941, Slip opinion (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, April 11, 2013). Free copy of opinion available here.

Court relied heavily on two precedents applying state agency law to determine owner-operator / independent contractor versus employee truck driver status:

Laredo v. CRST Malone, Inc., 820 F.Supp.2d 698 (E.D.N.C. 2011). Free copy of opinion available here

Taylor v. BP Express, Inc. 2008 WL 5046071 (S.D. Ga. 2008). Free copy of opinion available here.

EMPLOYMENT / Allegations against air charter company / corporate flight department of sex discrimination under federal civil rights law: One case dismissed and the other goes forward toward trial.

Difficulty of pleading and proving such a claim illustrated by these two cases: 

Blundell v. ConocoPhillips Co., Slip copy, 2013 WL 623495 (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, February 20, 2013). Free copy available hereContinue reading