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The  High Cost Of Misclassification of Workers-Truckers

 

 High cost for Businesses Misclassification

California continues its aggressive moves to protect truck drivers and crack down on misclassification of workers as independent contractors.  The California Labor Commission opened 2019 by awarding 24 drivers who work at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach almost six million dollars in compensatory damages in two separate.  Additionally, the Labor Commission held the manager of the 24 drivers personally liable under California law for the damages.  The decision is major sign of California’s ongoing intent to crack down on these issues. 

Municipalities Sue Big Pharma For Opioid Crisis Damages

 

The opioid epidemic, besides its unfathomable human costs, has had large economic costs for businesses and governments who must manage workers compensation costs. Opioid prescriptions in the wake of workplace injuries have been linked to higher workers compensation payouts and longer layoffs before injured employees return to work. Facing the bill for these costs, government, citizens, and private entities have filed a veritable avalanche of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for their manufacture and marketing of opioid based painkillers.

Issues Continue For Businesses With Risk Retention Group Coverage When Working In Multiple States

In 1986, responding to a host of industries that struggled to find acceptable coverage in the traditional insurance marketplace, Congress passed the Liability Risk Retention Act.  The Act authorized the creation of risk retention groups – liability insurance companies owned by its members.  Entities in an industry suffering through a liability crisis can form a risk retention group to provide them with the coverage they need when the wider insurance market is unwilling to. 

Why #MeToo Should Have Businesses Looking At Their Insurance Policies

The #MeToo movement is proving how social media affects the workplace, in this case the culture. While some commentary is concerned with the validity of claims or support of victims, there is no question that it has significantly increased the pressure on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Many employers have responded by increasing workplace training and updating their employment policies.

NJ Businesses With Independent Contractors Expecting Tightening Regulations

The classification of workers as independent contractors or employees continues to draw aggressive state action. These classifications can significantly impact a host of employment-related areas, but the reason why states involve themselves so much in these determinations often center around taxation issues. To this end, New Jersey recently updated its regulations to make it significantly harder for companies seeking an exemption from unemployment taxes to classify their workers as independent contractors, and it will have a big impact on trucking companies.

NLRB Joint Employer Update On Browning-Ferris For Fall 2018

 

 The next step in the long running saga over the Browning Ferris rule has finally arrived. After the National Labor Relations Board issued its decision in Browning-Ferris in 2015, a wave of lawsuits, regulatory challenges, and attempted legislative overrides put the future of that decision into doubt. An overturning of the rule became a key focus of the new administration in charge at the National Labor Relations Board. The board even issued a decision that purported to overturn the rule only to have that decision retracted due to an ethics issue. Now, on September 13, 2018, the Board has issued a new proposed regulation that seek to overturn the Browning-Ferris decision.

New Handbook Rules From NLRB Are More Employer-Friendly

As part of a widespread regulatory overhaul, the National Labor Relations Board recently issued new guidance on employee handbooks. The new handbook rules are considerably friendlier to employers than the old rules, and the NLRB has tried to provide employers with clear examples of how to remain in compliance with the new guidelines. The guidance results from a case decided by the NLRB in December 2017, The Boeing Company, which overturned a previous Bush II era case that imposed much stricter guidelines for acceptability when reviewing provisions of employee handbooks.

Businesses Should Be Realistic With Non-Compete Clauses

 

Employment contracts can represent a large area of potential risk for modern businesses.  Many companies are used to thinking of their employment practices as an area where lack of diligence can lead to massive lawsuits.  Most realize that solid employment contracts  can protect them from potential lawsuits by laying out clear expectations for the employer-employee relationship and through agreements to engage in methods of alternative dispute resolution.  Still, the contracts, whether as a separate document or through the use of an employee handbook that serves as a binding contract, can lead to several potential landmines for the unwary.

Browning-Ferris Goes To The Golden Arches

Issues of joint employment responsibility continue to make headlines across the United States.  Controversy has reigned ever since the National Labor Relations Board issued its decision in Browning-Ferris which changed the standards for establishing when a joint employment relationship exists.  The Board has overturned its Browning-Ferris decision in the intervening years, only to have the case overturning Browning-Ferris itself get overturned due to ethical issues.  States have moved forward with enforcing stricter joint employer liability standards even in the absence of federal action.  Businesses have had to try and re-define their employment relationships in a world of considerable uncertainty.

August 2018 Joint Employer Status Update

 

Ever since August 27, 2015, employers that use staffing agencies, employ subcontractors or have franchisees have faced significant uncertainty over the extent to which they constitute employers according to the United States Department of Labor. On that day, the National Labor Relations Board issued its decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California. The Browning-Ferris decision overturned recent precedent regarding when two or more entities would qualify as joint employers.