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As we will describe in this and its companion article, if you are an employer viewing such classifications optimistically in light of some recent legal developments, you should do so fully aware of the attendant perils. One might be excused for thinking (from an employer-biased point of view) that the independent contractor minefield might be settling down in light of the current sociopolitical and legal climate, as has occurred in several other transitioning areas of…
Welcome news for many employers rolled out of Washington, D.C. earlier this morning. The Supreme Court has ended a long-running debate over the enforceability of arbitration agreements with class action waivers in the employment context, particularly as applied to the wage and hour class action litigation. In short, such waivers are enforceable and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.…
If you work in human resources, or are an executive or employment lawyer, at some point you probably have thought, heard or said words to the effect of “Juries are very unpredictable and can do some crazy things.” I admit that I often scratch my head reading about the conclusions juries have reached in some employment cases. But from my own trial experience and what I can glean from reading about others’, I have concluded…
The California Supreme Court just threw employers a serious curveball with respect to how employers must calculate overtime. And it did so by claiming employers should have known of this calculation method even though the same California Supreme Court declared it void over 20 years ago.…
For the last several years, “joint employment” (whatever that now means legally) has been anything but the gift that keeps on giving for employers. First, joint employment became a tool that the previous Administration locked onto in seeking to expand wage and hour liabilities and to open up potential union organizing opportunities and labor relations obligations.  After those actions sent tremors through franchise-based businesses and companies that have significant subcontractor relationships, the new Administration took…
Human resources professionals could certainly be excused for feeling frustrated with the fact that every technological advance improving business operations comes with new legal landmines to manage. For example, increased connectivity has greatly enhanced productivity opportunities.  But at the same time, it has created new challenges with data management and integrity, off-the-clock work risks, and even management of “work from home” entitlement beliefs.  Similarly, increased automation and other changes in manufacturing techniques that increase productivity…
Human resources professionals could certainly be excused for feeling frustrated with the fact that every technological advance improving business operations comes with new legal landmines to manage. For example, increased connectivity has greatly enhanced productivity opportunities.  But at the same time, it has created new challenges with data management and integrity, off-the-clock work risks, and even management of “work from home” entitlement beliefs.  Similarly, increased automation and other changes in manufacturing techniques that increase productivity…
Human resources professionals could certainly be excused for feeling frustrated with the fact that every technological advance improving business operations comes with new legal landmines to manage. For example, increased connectivity has greatly enhanced productivity opportunities.  But at the same time, it has created new challenges with data management and integrity, off-the-clock work risks, and even management of “work from home” entitlement beliefs.  Similarly, increased automation and other changes in manufacturing techniques that increase productivity…
No matter your political persuasion, there is little argument that during the second term of the previous administration, multiple federal agencies made landscape-altering changes to federal labor policy. These changes included rewriting guidance on independent contractor standards and accelerating the speed at which union organizing elections would occur following the filing of a representation petition.  In some circumstances, the changes occurred after a lengthy public notice and comment process; in others, federal departments and agencies…
We observed last year that the legal industry is no more immune to the holdovers of sexism than any other profession. As we noted, in a step toward stemming this problem, the American Bar Association has passed a new model rule for attorney professional conduct, treating discriminatory actions by attorneys as ethical misconduct.  Rule changes, of course, do not immediately result in conduct improvements; just last week, a federal judge in California significantly sanctioned a…