Rio Rancho, NM asked in Business Law and Employment Law for New Mexico

Q: In NM, is it legal to allow independant contractors to wear the business logo of the company that hires them?

It sounds ridiculous to me, but someone has told me that it's illegal to allow independant contractors (massage therapists in this case) to wear t-shirts with the logo of the company that has hired them. The t-shirts are worn at events voluntarily by the contractors to help advertise for the business that brings them work, to help bring in more work. In essence, they're voluntarily advertising for the company to benefit themselves. I've never heard of wearing a companies logo being illegal. No one is claiming to be a direct employee of the company, it's very clear that they are independant contractors, it's voluntary, and the t-shirts are available for purchase as well as given away often during promotions. So, now I'm curious, are there actually laws about this?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer

Trent A. Howell

Answered
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Licensed in New Mexico

A: Someone is confusing the issue. The question is not whether it is "legal," but whether wearing a company logo may suggest an individual is an employee rather than an independent contractor of that company. There are different definitions and factors to determine "employee" status under different statutes. For example, the IRS has a 20-factor test, and courts consider several other factors under the FLSA (federal minimum wage law). Wearing a company logo, alone, is not enough to make someone an employee, without considering the other circumstances of the relationship.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.