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The In-House Advisor Published by Shepard Davidson & Renee Inomata

Category Archives: Worker Classifications

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December 1 Overtime Final Rule on Hold

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

On November 22, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted the request of 21 states to temporarily halt the effective date the U.S. Department of Labor’s Final Rule (“Final Rule”) raising the salary threshold to qualify for the white collar exemptions from minimum wage and overtime requirements from taking effect. Accordingly,… Continue Reading

Rare Decision Finds Workers Were Properly Classified as Independent Contractors

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Worker Classifications

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 taxicab drivers are, in fact, properly classified as independent contractors was somewhat unexpected.

Reliance on MA Case Finding That Compensation Contingent on Funding is Not Owed is Risky

Posted in Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Historically, Massachusetts courts routinely ruled that it was a violation of  the Massachusetts Wage Act to fail to pay an employee who had been promised payment for her work only after the employer received sufficient funding. For example, in Stanton v. Lighthouse Financial Services, Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner found not only once, but… Continue Reading

Holiday Tips for Employers

Posted in Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discrimination, Harassment, Supervisor Training, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Because ’tis the season to give, The In-House Advisor would like to give in-house counsel the following reminders so as to limit their companies’ holiday exposure: Tip 1:  Religious discrimination and accommodations As we all know, while the “holiday” season in December often refers to Christmas, there are many other religious holidays celebrated by workers,… Continue Reading

Using Unpaid Interns May be Illegal

Posted in Uncategorized, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

As summer approaches, many companies will face the tempting invitation from students to work “for free” as interns.  While some companies may consider jumping at the chance to enhance their workforce without incurring the costs of compensation, health insurance and other benefits of being an employee, as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District… Continue Reading

Beware of Choice of Law When Drafting Independent Contractor Agreements

Posted in Contracts, Jurisdiction, Venue and Choice of Law, Worker Classifications

As we have previously posted in Choice of Law in a Contract Can Be Critical, Ensuring Your Dispute Is Resolved in the Forum You Want Is Not Always Easy, and Selection of Forum Other Than Massachusetts May Not Avoid Wage Act Enforcement, choice of law and forum selection provisions should be conscious decisions made in… Continue Reading

Avoiding Misclassification of Independent Contractors in the New Year

Posted in Contracts, Worker Classifications

With the new year, taking the time to review the status of your independent contractors may create valuable savings.  Independent contractors, when properly classified, can often be a valuable and efficient means for both businesses and individuals to conduct business.  Many businesses engage workers on an independent contractor basis as means of avoiding rigorous requirements… Continue Reading

Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors Pose Significant Risks

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Miscellaneous Employment, Worker Classifications

Many are familiar with Juliet’s tribute to Romeo: “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”  In the context of employees and independent contractors, however, Juliet is quite wrong.  As I discussed in a prior post, it can be perilous to misclassify workers as independent… Continue Reading

Unpaid Interns: When Are They Permitted?

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

As summer internship season approaches, employers should carefully institute internship programs which comply with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The Test. In the case of “for-profit” companies, unpaid internships must meet the strict criteria of the FLSA.  Specifically, as stated in U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) FLSA Fact Sheet #71 unpaid… Continue Reading

Three Myths About Who is “Exempt” and Who is “Non-Exempt”

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Miscellaneous Employment, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Even the most sophisticated employer in the most intellectually demanding industry may misclassify its workers as “exempt” when they are, in fact “non-exempt.”  The increasing number of misclassification litigation is a sure sign that no one is completely immune from inadvertently misclassifying workers.  What exactly are the workers “exempt” from anyway?  The federal Fair Labor Standards… Continue Reading