Posts in Independent Contractor.

By David Phippen of our Metro D.C. Office.

While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year's resolutions that employers may want to make:

1. Make sure your "independent contractors" are really independent contractors. "Independent contractors" are under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, state and local agencies, plaintiffs' lawyers, and union organizers. A misclassification can cost you back taxes, back pay (including overtime), and back benefits, as well as penalties and interest. 

2. Review your email policies. The NLRB recently found that employees generally have a right to use employer email systems during non-working time in support of union organizing and concerted activity. The Board's decision means that many employer email use policies, as currently drafted, would probably be found to violate the National Labor Relations Act if an unfair labor practice charge were filed or a union tried to organize employees and argued that the employer's email policy interfered with the organizing efforts. In light of the new "quickie election" rule that the NLRB issued last month, both union and non-union employers would be well advised to review their email policies and revise as needed. (The "quickie election" rule is scheduled to take effect on April 14, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other employer groups, including the Society for Human Resources Management, filed suit on Monday seeking to block the rule.)

It's not too late to register for our webinar on the NLRB's new rules on "quickie elections" and employee email use. The webinar, featuring labor attorneys Tim Davis, Jonathan Martin, and Dan Murphy, is from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern tomorrow (January 8). Be there, or be square! 

Two weeks ago, I wrote about whether harassment training should be offered to employees in "the Twilight Zone" -- mainly, lead persons and contingent workers (temporaries and independent contractors). Reader Paul C. suggested that I do a post on the dangers associated with keeping "temps" too long, which I thought was a great idea. So, Paul, thank you!

In our insecure economy, temps and ...

Who should get harassment training, and why?

Executive Team? Of course. These are the leaders. If they don't set an example, then the company is in trouble. And it's hard for them to set an example if they don't know a little bit about workplace harassment and their responsibilities.

Managers? Of course.

HR? What, are you kidding?

Front line supervisors? Absolutely. These folks are the

This has not been a good week for lawyers. First, we heard about the married Minnesota lawyer who had a sexual relationship with a client (a major ethical violation in itself) and then had the nerve to bill her for his time! Whether a special billing rate applied to criminal conversation is not disclosed. Hey, by the way, which task code would this fall under?  "Appear for/Attend ...

It was a dark and stormy night.

Creeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaak . . .

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaughhhhhhhhhh . . .

In honor of Halloween, here are nine things employers say that strike terror in the hearts of their lawyers. CAUTION: Pregnant women, anyone with a heart condition or seizure disorder, and anyone who is easily upset should stop reading NOW!!!!

No one will be seated after the ...

After a great holiday feast, isn't it fun just to eat the leftovers? Like a nice, cold roast beast sandwich with a wedge of leftover pie? Yum!

leftover pie.jpgHere are some great labor and employment blog "leftovers" from the holidays that I hope you will enjoy as much as I did, followed by a few new year's resolutions for employers and employees. Please add to my list!

In case you were chillaxin' last week and ...

What a year, am I right or am I right? Here is a catalog of the major employment and labor law developments from 2011. And, just to keep it entertaining, I've started off each month with a weird but true off-topic story that was in the news that month. Many thanks to Drudge Report archives for the strange stuff. Thanks also to Esquire magazine's annual Dubious Achievement Awards (sadly ...

Don't eat that pretty red apple, Snow White!!! It has poison in it!!!!

You know the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"? Well, it appears that this may be the case with the new "sweet deal" the Internal Revenue Service is offering to employers who agree to reclassify their "independent contractors" [sic] as "employees" in exchange for some admittedly generous ...

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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