Transportation Labor & Employment

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Two Significant Opinions for Employers

In April 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued two important decisions providing guidance for employers on the scope of Massachusetts’s wage and hour laws. In one decision, the Court held that employers may...more

Uber’s ADA Conundrum

When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the company’s app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the...more

Senate Approves Whistleblower Bill for the Auto Industry

The U.S. Senate passed the first-ever piece of whistleblower legislation specific to automotive safety April 28. The proposed measure provides incentives to whistleblowers within the auto industry to come forward about known...more

Airline Industry Alert: OT Class Action Against Southwest Airlines Fails to Take Off

Airlines achieved a major victory on May 19, 2015, with an order from the Central District of California granting Southwest Airlines Co.'s motion to dismiss in McKinley v. Southwest Airlines Co., United States District Court,...more

Court Puts the Brakes on Overtime for Drivers—No Interstate Trips? No Problem!

The Third Circuit put a screeching halt to the contention that drivers must actually cross state lines to be exempt from overtime under the Motor Carrier Act (“MCA”). In Resch v. Krapf’s Coaches, Inc., the court ruled that...more

Third Circuit Upholds the Motor Carrier Exemption for Drivers Who Did Not, But Reasonably Could Have Been Expected to, Cross State...

Are drivers of a motor carrier who rarely or never drive the carrier's interstate routes covered by the motor carrier exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act?  Yes, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 40 percent. The average combined federal and state tax rate paid by most U.S.-based firms, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by James Freeman today, entitled “The Tax Takeover Craze.” Freeman claims...more

Registration of Cyprus Ships

Cyprus is a leading forum in the international maritime industry mostly due to its attractive tax system for ship owners and ship managers and due to its ratification of major international maritime conventions. Cyprus is...more

Uber and Other Startups Facing Independent Contractor Disputes

Perhaps the blurriest line in employment law is the difference between an independent contractor and employee. Companies prefer contractor status because it is cheaper and offers more flexibility. ...more

New Law Favors Uber and Lyft

Addressing the lack of consistent rules governing app-based ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, the Tennessee legislature has passed a bill which establishes a uniform law for the companies’ Tennessee operations....more

New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Fined for Whistleblower Harassment

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has had plenty of public troubles lately, the most recent of which has resulted in a fine of more than $50,000 after the agency was found guilty of harassing a...more

Supreme Court ruling limits PPF protection for schemes with no UK employers

In October 2009, the Greek courts ordered the winding up of the Greek national airline, Olympic Airlines. Olympic ran flights from UK airports, employing 27 employees in the UK, dealing with things such as ticket sales. In...more

These Taxi Drivers Are Not Employees Says Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

We have been following the high-publicity battle between Uber and Lyft, on the one hand, and the drivers on the other, over whether the drivers are properly classified as independent contractors. Uber and Lyft argue they are...more

Senate Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Bill

Under the “Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act” (the Bill), which the U.S. Senate approved on April 28, 2015, whistleblower protections and bounties would be available to individuals who report motor vehicle defects. In...more

April 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

The leading news in the area of independent contractor compliance and misclassification in April 2015 is the settlement by Macy’s and its logistics company in New Jersey with the delivery drivers and their helpers used by...more

Weigand v. N.L.R.B: A Double Standard for Social Media?

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision finding a local branch of the Amalgamated Transit Union (“Union”) could...more

Rare Decision Finds Workers Were Properly Classified as Independent Contractors

Convincing a court that a company has properly classified a worker as an independent contractor has become increasingly difficult in Massachusetts. So, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision just last week that...more

A Win for Employers: Court Denies Class Certification of Rest Break Claim Where Plaintiff Alleged Employer Did Not Have a Rest...

A recent federal district court decision denying a motion for class certification of wage-and-hour claims reflects continuing disagreement among courts in California regarding the suitability for class treatment of meal and...more

FRA's Proposed Rule on Risk Reduction Programs Puts the Outreach Obligations Squarely on Railroad Management

On February 27, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") published its proposed rule on Risk Reduction Programs in the Federal Register. The proposed rule would require Class I railroads and railroads with an...more

The InterConnect FLASH! - April 2015: Be On Guard: North Carolina Decision Continues Worrisome Trend

On March 17, 2015, in Atiapo v. Goree Logistics, Inc., the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed an Industrial Commission Opinion and Award holding that Owen Thomas, Inc. (“Owen Thomas”), a federally licensed...more

Tax Planning for International Transportation Income

According to the most recent estimates, the quantity of goods carried by containers has risen from around 100 million metric tons in 1980 to about 1.5 billion metric tons in 2012. Out of these numbers, one container in every...more

Paul Watler Speaks: Save the Plane – Or Save Yourself From a Libel Suit?

Fear of liability may match fear of flying for many Americans. We all know that commercial aviation is one of the safest forms of modern transportation. But it only takes a gut-wrenching drop of an aircraft in the...more

Week in Review – Taxes, Transportation, and Goat Trails - April 24, 2015 #4

Taxes - The House Republican Omnibus Tax bill (HF848) was released on Monday. The $2 billion tax cut package includes $538 million to pay for a one-time income tax exemption and $450 million to begin phasing-out the...more

Massachusetts SJC Rules that Taxicab Drivers Are Independent Contractors Under the Wage Act

On April 21, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Sebago, et al. v. Boston Cab Dispatch, Inc., et al., that taxicab companies may classify taxicab drivers as independent contractors. The plaintiffs in...more

Oil Field Employers Post-McMaster: Still Searching for Clarity on the TCA’s Impact on the Motor Carrier Act Exemption

In McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc., No. 14-1010 (March 11, 2015), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued one of the first federal appellate court opinions discussing the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of...more

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