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Virgina Jumps on the Misclassified Independent Contractor Band Wagon

By | Business, class action lawsuit, Employment, Legal Services, Misclassification

Read about Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud reporting on employee misclassification.

In August 2019, the Governor reconstituted a taskforce charged with providing recommendations on how to “measure and combat misclassification in Virginia.” The Taskforce included representatives from several state agencies, including the Virginia Employment Commission, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, and the Office of the Attorney General.

Read more here.

Freelancers Fear NJ Bill

By | Business, Employment, Human Resources, Independent Contractor, Misclassification

Sonia Nieto-Munoz reports how New Jersey legislation is causing alarm and harm, ultimately forcing independent contractors to leave the state. It was billed as a way to protect workers in New Jersey from being exploited by businesses who classified them as independent contractors and got out of providing them benefits and employee protections.

But freelancers, tutors, writers and others in the “gig economy” said the measure pushed by powerful Democrats in the state Legislature would hurt more than help. In fact, some like Jen A. Miller, who just bought a house, said it would prevent them from finding work — and force them to leave New Jersey. Read full article here.

Should Uber Give Thanks?

By | Advice, Business, Employment, Freelancer, Human Resources, Independent Contractor, Misclassification, settlement

Last week may have signaled an early reason for Uber and gig economy companies to be thankful this holiday season. Courthouse News correspondent Nicholas Iovino reported from San Francisco:

Despite claims that Uber’s business model deprives California of tax dollars and makes it spend more on public assistance for low-paid workers, a federal judge signaled Thursday he will likely deny a request for an injunction that would force Uber to treat its drivers as employees.

“Harm to the public interest is a factor, but you have to go through several doors,” U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said in court Thursday.

Chen is presiding over one of the first labor class actions filed against Uber since California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 into law in September. The new state law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires employers like Uber classify drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, making them eligible for benefits such as minimum wage, overtime, sick pay, expense reimbursement and workers’ compensation.

Read more.

‘Tis the Season – Contractor vs. Employees

By | Business, Human Resources, Independent Contractor, Uncategorized

Littler Publications shares 10 Issues employers need to pay attention to when approaching the holidays. Issue #2 being Contractors vs. Employees when conducting seasonal hiring. 

Littler states as employers prepare for seasonal hiring, they should consider whether to directly hire seasonal employees or engage independent contractors. If the latter, employers should evaluate and confirm the legality of their classification practices.

Further, states have different rules on the classification of independent contractors for different legal purposes (e.g., wage and hour requirements v. unemployment benefits), so it is important to be familiar with all state-level laws on worker classification. While employers may see benefits to retaining contractors, they must be careful to satisfy the applicable test for classification.

Some states have been taking a hard line on worker classification issues, read more here.

Uber’s $640M Tax Bill

By | Business, Employment, Human Resources, Independent Contractor, Misclassification, settlement

The Associated Press reported New Jersey is seeking more than $640 million from Uber in taxes and penalties for misclassified independent contractors. 

New Jersey’s labor department told Uber allegedly owes $523 million in overdue taxes from the last four years and is facing fines plus $119 million in interest, see more details on this newest setback.

 

Does Your Company Have More Contractors Than Employees? It’s Risky.

By | class action lawsuit, Freelancer, Human Resources, Independent Contractor, Misclassification

Minda Zetlin reports “Google works hard to keep the 121,000 contractors it employs separate from its permanent employees. The two groups wear different colored badges, contractors are barred from some meetings, and they aren’t provided employee perks such as health insurance and vacation time. The company apparently put these measures in place to make the status of its contractors as non-employees legally clear. Even so, it’s still risking a major labor lawsuit in Google’s home state of California.

Last December, contractors at Google sent an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding the same benefits as full-time employees, and also to be included in company communications and meetings.” See full article.