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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 21
  • June
  • 2018

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Don’t Be an Ostrich When Dealing with Your Subcontractors

A few weeks ago I spoke about the legal challenges of managing contractors at the Texas Chemical Council’s annual Environmental, Health & Safety conference in Galveston, Texas. While it is “black letter law” that employers are not liable for injuries to employees of subcontractors that they do not control, general contractors in reality are often sued by the employees of their subcontractors after being barred from suing their own employers by workers’ compensation statutes.

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Moving to Texas — Signed, the California Gig Economy

In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the California Supreme Court joined a handful of other states, including Massachusetts, in adopting the “ABC test” to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The reach of Dynamex is currently cabined to state wage orders, which regulate certain terms of employment, such as state minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest breaks. The ABC test is a stark departure from the common-law test focused primarily on the degree of control a hiring entity exercised, or had the right to exercise, over an individual — which is the test that still applies, for now, to claims arising under the California Labor Code and other statutes. Recall our earlier post on the Grubhub decision, in which we outlined various factors companies might consider under the common-law test when classifying workers as independent contractors or employees.

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  • 20
  • March
  • 2018

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Hot Topic Getting Hotter — UK "Worker" Status Cases

We have previously written about the UK’s “worker” status, an intermediate classification between an employee and a self-employed contractor, which affords some of the benefits and protections of employment (such as minimum wage and paid vacation). This remains a hot topic for employment law in 2018, with two significant cases working their way through the UK courts.

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A Gig Economy Independent Contractor Checklist — For Now

A federal judge in California recently found that a restaurant delivery driver working for Grubhub was an independent contractor rather than an employee (and thus was not entitled to minimum wage, overtime, and expense reimbursement under California law). As a first-of-its-kind decision on the merits of the independent contractor analysis in the so-called “gig” or “sharing” economy, the decision presents a fairly comprehensive analysis of the traditional independent contractor analysis in this developing context. It’s important to recognize that there may be limits to the Grubhub case’s applicability to other new-economy companies because many of the judge’s determinations were based on the plaintiff’s lack of credibility. The decision is also likely to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which is typically not friendly to the gig economy. 

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  • 06
  • February
  • 2018

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What Do You Mean Someone I've Never Met Is My Employee?

While the current National Labor Relations Board appears to be heading in the right direction when it comes to the joint employer and independent contractor issues, it is important to remember that federal courts may still find employers to be “joint employers.” This point was recently brought home in a decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, decided on January 3, in the case of Young v. Act Fast Delivery of West Virginia, et al.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel

Robert Sheppard

Robert Sheppard Associate