The Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council Inc. (IMHA-RVIC) has been working closely with Indiana Sen. Blake Doriot (R, Syracuse) and State Representative Doug Miller (R, Elkhart) on SB 425 to clarify Indiana law and attempt to classify drive-away drivers as independent contractors.
As reported by the IMHA-RVIC newsletter, while SB 425 successfully passed the Indiana State Senate by a 47-2 vote, the bill stalled in the Indiana House Labor Committee when the U.S. Department of Labor and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) opposed the bill.
Things changed on March 5 when the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned an administrative law judge decision and another court appeal ruling that declared drive-away drivers to be classified as employees.
The new Court of Appeals decision clearly classifies drive-away drivers as independent contractors as detailed at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/03051801ehf.pdf.
As result, it created a situation where there are two conflicting Indiana Court decisions, one classifying the drivers as employees and one classifying them as independent contractors.
Due to the conflicting court rulings both DWD and the Governor’s office told state legislators “it will be business as usual” for transport companies and drive-away drivers, meaning there will be no further enforcement on either entity until this is resolved either through the Supreme Court or administratively.
This could be a six-month reprieve or more than a year. If it is not resolved by the court, IMHA-RVIC is asking to extend the reprieve on enforcement until July 1, 2019 to give the legislature time to address the issue, if necessary.
The Governor’s office pledged to work with IMHA-RVIC is and DWD to find a solution on this issue.