News & Analysis as of

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 1 of 11 – FedEx sings Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong”…to Classify Our Drivers as Independent...

Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay? Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way? Those are the opening lyrics to Nico & Vinz’s (catchy would be an understatement) summertime hit...more

Independent Contractors Lying In Wait… An Employment Law Perspective

The Issue: Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is common and it can have “quicksand” impact on employers. In addition to litigation expense, employer risks include compensation and penalties for Wage...more

Worker Classification Task Force Established in Virginia

On August 14, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order 24 to establish an inter-agency task force on worker misclassification and payroll fraud. The task force is a response to a 2012 report of the...more

Three Point Shot

Female Football Player Throws Flag at LFL over Bare Wages - The three-year championship run of the Los Angeles Temptation was snapped in 2013 when the upstart Chicago Bliss, led by the quarterback and two-time league...more

Learning From LinkedIn: More Big Name Employment Law Violations Showcase Need For Wage and Hour Compliance Training

I confess that up until the huge LinkedIn case last month, I had no idea what wage and hour training even is, or why anyone needed to take it. After all, it’s pretty simple, right? Pay nonexempt workers their regular wage for...more

Sea Change: Ninth Circuit Holds That FedEx Drivers Are Employees — Not Independent Contractors

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed the nearly decade long misclassification dispute between FedEx and its drivers, holding that drivers in California (as well as in Oregon) are FedEx employees, not independent contractors. ...more

August 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline development are the seismic decisions, issued on August 27, 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concluding as a matter of law that FedEx Ground had misclassified over 2,300 drivers...more

Worker-Classification Lawsuit Claims Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

A class-action suit recently filed in Massachusetts against an on-demand car service alleges the company misclassified its drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. As a result, according to the complaint, the...more

Out of the Box: Legal guidance for the consumer product + retail industry - Volume 2, Issue 2, Summer 2014

In This Issue: - Are Offers Of Free Credit Monitoring About To Become Mandatory In Data Breach Incidents? - Mandatory “Made-In” Labeling in the EU - A New Dawn for California Class Actions - Recent...more

Quirky Question # 238, No Laughing Matter – Company Found Liable for Wrongfully Terminating Independent Contractor’s Agreement

Question: My company relies on independent contractors, over whom we don’t exert control. They often joke around with each other. I’m not liable for employment discrimination if I terminate one of them after they...more

Feds Get Technical! Technical! (Sung to Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” of course)

We already know that California’s exempt/non-exempt classification scheme is a complicated system of checks and balances that takes most employers the help of an attorney to traverse. Well, just so we don’t get overly...more

No Laughing Matter: Company Found Liable for Wrongfully Terminating Independent Contractor’s Agreement after a Complaint about a...

Companies using independent contractors should be aware of increased enforcement efforts from federal and state labor and tax authorities over misclassification of workers under wage and hour and tax laws. In Washington, this...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Commissioned Employee Exemption

Peabody v Time Warner Cable, Inc. (July 14, 2014, No. S204804) 2014 Cal Lexis 4755, came to the California Supreme Court from the Ninth Circuit, through a certification procedure that is used when a question can determine the...more

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

Store to Pay Up to $6.5 Million for Misclassifying Workers

A national home-improvement store recently agreed to pay thousands of California workers as much as $6.5 million for improperly labeling them independent contractors (IC) instead of employees....more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of Restrictions on Federal Agency Rulemaking in Mortgage Loan Officer Overtime Case

In our July 2013 alert, we reported on a federal appellate court ruling in Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris. Mortgage Bankers Association challenged a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 2010 opinion letter in support of...more

California Supreme Court Holds Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims Can Be Determined by Common Proof – But Only in...

In its first employment-related class certification decision since its seminal ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank, the California Supreme Court, in a fragmented opinion, reversed the denial of class certification for a group of...more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds That a Challenge to Independent Contractor Status Is Class Certifiable

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers the California Supreme Court held that the critical factor in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is “the degree of a hirer’s right to control how...more

California Supreme Court Nixes Certification Denial Ruling Against Newspaper Carriers Classified as Independent Contractors

The California Supreme Court recently held that a trial court needed to revisit its class certification decision regarding newspaper carriers who alleged that they should have been classified as employees rather than...more

Department of Labor to Revise Federal Regulations Interpreting the Right to Receive Overtime Pay under the Fair Labor Standards...

In a March 2014 Memorandum, President Obama directed the Department of Labor to “modernize and streamline” the regulations that dictate when an employer may lawfully designate an employee as exempt from overtime pay under the...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2014

"Unauthorized Alien" Who Provided False SSN Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit - Salas v. Sierra Chem. Co., 2014 WL 2883878 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Vicente Salas worked on Sierra Chemical's production...more

California Supreme Court: Newspaper Carriers Can Proceed With Class Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status

On June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision addressing how trial courts should determine the appropriateness of class certification in cases where workers claim they were improperly classified as...more

$15M Judgment Reversed Due to Flawed Statistical Sampling Approach to Class Action

In a significant victory for California employers, the California Supreme Court threw out a $15 million judgment in favor of allegedly misclassified employees. In Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, a putative class of...more

Another Example of Owner Liability for Unpaid Wages and Liquidated Damages for Employee Misclassification

Do you still think that business owners aren’t responsible for wage and hour law violations? Do you think that a court will only award liquidated damages where the violation is willful? Think again. Following an investigation...more

Connecticut Congressman Sponsors “Payroll Fraud Prevention Act”

Readers of this blog will be aware that the misclassification of employees as independent contractors has been a major concern of state and federal authorities for several years. Employers don’t provide workers compensation...more

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