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A $1.4 million lesson: Misclassifying workers can lead to personal liability

Making the employee-or-independent-contractor decision should always be a well-researched and documented choice. One main reason: While most lawsuits claiming misclassification of independent contractors are brought against corporate entities, many federal and state laws also allow workers to sue company execs directly for personal liability in such cases.

Train executives on FLSA classification rules

Plaintiffs’ lawyers love to file lawsuits alleging an employee was improperly classified as a manager under the Fair Labor Standards Act. That’s because just one misclassification mistake can force employers to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay and penalties. Avoid that fate by training everyone with the authority to set job duties, schedules and pay how to properly classify workers as either exempt or hourly.

Employees’ pandemic lawsuits continue to evolve

The mandatory vaccination cases aren’t going anywhere soon, as employers and the federal government are leaning on such policies. But two recent decisions also remind us that pandemic-related lawsuits come in many flavors.

Small employer? FLSA probably still applies

Most private-sector employers must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act’s wage-and-hour rules, regardless of size. The law applies to employers that do a reasonable amount of business while engaged in interstate commerce.

Court tosses California gig-worker ballot initiative

A California judge has ruled unconstitutional a state ballot initiative that allowed gig-economy platforms such as Lyft and Uber to classify drivers as independent contractors.

Ask attorney: Does state law supersede FLSA?

The Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, that time employees spend in a security-check line after work doesn’t count as time worked under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, did not create a foolproof safe harbor for employers. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court just ruled that state wage-and-hour law did require Integrity Staffing to pay for screening time.

It’s official: DOL pulls plug on joint employer, contractor regs

The Department of Labor has officially rescinded two Trump administration regulations that would have redefined joint employment and the distinction between employees and independent contractors.

DOL plans to explore raising exempt overtime threshold again

The Department of Labor has confirmed it is reviewing the exemptions of executive, administrative and professional employees from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Manage FLSA basics: minimum wage and OT

Managing a restaurant is tough these days. Staffing is next to impossible. Wages are rising. New covid-19 safety rules have added layers of extra costs. Those are just the new complications. But all the old requirements remain, too, such as complying with the wage-deduction and overtime rules covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

DOL proposes new rule on tipped worker pay

The Department of Labor has floated a rule that would limit the amount of non-tip-producing work that a tipped employee can perform when an employer takes a tip credit.