For seven years Dutch Prior has taken pride in being a truck driver. Last year, he signed on with a company called Shippers Transport Express. Although he drives their trucks, Shippers Transport calls Prior an independent contractor – not an employee.
“I’m not classified as an employee,” Prior said. “I’m classified as an independent contractor, but I have very, very little control over the success or failure of my company.”
Despite his so-called independence, Prior works exclusively for Shippers Transport, which doles out his daily routes. He has seen his paychecks dwindle, and he has none of the protections he would get as an employee.