‘Economic Reality’ Key to Determining Independent Contractor Status

Premier Directional Drilling, L.P., utilizes directional-driller-consultants (DD) and measurement-while-drilling-consultants (MWD) in its oil drilling operation. Some DDs are classified as employees; others, independent contractors (IC). Five ICs filed suits against Premier alleging they were inaccurately classified as ICs and not employees. The district court awarded damages in favor of the plaintiffs. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case, vacated the district court ruling and rendered judgment in favor of Premier. Read about the “economic reality” that led to their decision.