Investigate the newspaper delivery industry 

newspaper delivery boyWhere have all the paperboys and papergirls gone?  They’ve been replaced by delivery companies that newspapers contract with to deliver the newspapers.  Recently, the Boston Globe Editorial Board published an editorial calling on an investigation into the classification of the newspaper delivery industry. The editorial states:

Attorney General Maura Healey and federal labor authorities should take an independent look at the newspaper distribution industry — in this region, and nationwide. If the way the Globe and other papers are distributed runs afoul of state or federal labor laws, distributors must change their employment practices. In recent years, courts have sent mixed messages: the Orange County Register reached a settlement with carriers, but a Massachusetts case related to the Athol Daily Newsupheld the legality of the independent contractor model. In 2009, PCF settled a lawsuit for $1.4 million and agreed to end some labor practices, like docking the pay of workers if subscribers reported that their newspapers were wet.

It is noteworthy that the Globe called for the investigation into the companies it uses to deliver newspapers.  An investigation may result in the reclassification of those who deliver newspapers from independent contractors to employees and the reclassification, and any remedial actions, may cost the newspaper delivery company increased costs, which may be passed on to the Globe.


Read the full editorial at Investigate the newspaper delivery industry

10 thoughts on “Investigate the newspaper delivery industry 

    1. You can sue whoever is paying you. The company that is paying the worker is the entity that is responsible for properly classifying the worker as an employee or independent contractor.

  1. Mr. Gibson, are you an attorney? How would I go about finding an attorney for this exact problem with a newspaper company in Pennsylvania?

  2. My fiancé works everyday with no days off. Sick day is said to be termination notice.
    How is this legal?
    He is docked pay for papers delivered late due to weather conditions. How is that legal?
    When he was a manager he put in over 80 hour weeks but there was no time clock. He was given a base salary pay, penalized if too many complaints were filed and denied a day off for up to 18 days straight.

    Please help. The warehouse here is deplorable. The delivery personnel are not as knowledgeable and think that it is great to be paid pocket change for every paper they deliver. It loose twice as much if there is a complaint.

    Patiently (trying to be) needing advice or direction

    1. Heather — I wish I had good advice for you and your fiance. You might file a claim with the Department of Labor or you might find a lawyer. Either is not going to get you help right away. I would recommend looking for a different job. Good luck!

  3. Idk, something needs to change. self employment taxes kill any profits I saved over the year.
    The level of exploitation is beyond insanity that they’re allowed to operate like this, exploiting often the most desperate people looking for work with misleading ads. Promising so much income when they know a massive portion will be taken away for gas, repairs, high SE tax,etc. and make you pay for the bags… that’s like UPS making the delivery drivers pay for boxes. Why are they allowed to exploit these people to this severe of a degree?

  4. It is super messed up they have us as IC and benefit from not having to pay us hourly or offer benefits or medical. I have recently read an article about the Sacramento bee suing the McClatchy group and winning. I used to deliver for the McClatchy group but in a different state I wonder if I could do what the bee did and win. The circumstances in the bee’s case pretty much are identical to the conditions I worked under when I delivered for the McClatchy group. They don’t help with gas or car repairs. Less than .15 cents/paper is outrageous. How are they allowed to get away with that. If it wasn’t for home delivery I’m sure a lot of the nations papers would be no more. We are their bread and butter and they treat us like shit

    1. I agree that misclassification in the newspaper delivery is rampant and inappropriate. Good luck with your case.

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