Technology Law Blog

Showing 7 posts in Employment.

Uber Pays $100 Million to Settle “Employee or Independent Contractor?” Class Action Case

Taxi NavigationIn January we updated you on the numerous legal battles Uber was fighting across the country related to its classification of its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber, the on-demand car service, recently put one of those battles behind it by settling a class action lawsuit covering 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts for $100 million.

Under the terms of the settlement Uber will continue to be able to classify its drivers as contractors. The company also made concessions allowing drivers to receive tips, and to form an association - although not a union - to discuss grievances with the company. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News & Events

Employee or Independent Contractor? Uber Wages Battles to Answer Critical Question for On-Demand Economy Companies and Their Workers

Employee or independent contractor? It’s a question many businesses grapple with, and the answer has significant legal and financial implications. Employee vs. independent contractor classification is becoming an increasingly important issue for many “on demand” technology companies such as Uber doing business in the fast growing “gig” or “sharing” economy.

Uber has been involved in a number of legal battles being waged over its practice of classifying its drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. California has been a hotspot for litigation.  Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News & Events

Remedying Past Employee/Independent Contract Misclassification Through IRS’s Voluntary Settlement Program

Employee or independent contractor? It’s a legal distinction that has significant implication for both workers and employers. Take ride-sharing service Uber, for example. It’s now defending a class action lawsuit filed by its drivers who claim they are misclassified as independent contractors. Should plaintiffs be successful, they may be entitled to damages including reimbursement for expenses they incur, such as gas and vehicle maintenance. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News & Events, Tax

Gov. Snyder Shakes up State Government to Prepare Michigan Workers for Tomorrow’s Jobs

Michigan’s economy has made notable strides in recent years toward retaining and attracting business and creating more high-quality jobs. On Dec. 18, Gov. Rick Snyder announced an executive order aimed at keeping that forward momentum alive. Snyder said that the newly created Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development will organize the state’s job training and economic development efforts under one unified department.  

This new organizational structure brings to bear more state resources to train Michigan workers for in-demand jobs – in the skilled trades and in fields like IT and advanced manufacturing – that employers are having trouble filling.  

What does the reorganization look like?

  • The new Department of Talent and Economic Development will house a newly created state agency, the Talent Investment Agency, both of which are scheduled to begin operations in March.
  • The Talent Investment Agency will absorb the Michigan Strategic Fund – the governmental entity in charge of incentivizing business development – as well as the Michigan Economic Development Association, the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority, the Workforce Development Agency, the Governor's Talent Investment Board, and the Unemployment Insurance Agency.
Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News & Events

BYOD: Balancing Data Security with Employee Privacy

The days of carrying around a work phone and personal phone are quickly dwindling, if not already gone. Instead, businesses are implementing bring-your-own-device ("BYOD") policies that allow employees to access corporate information from their personal mobile device. On one hand, providing employees with mobile access to information increases productivity by allowing employees to work from anywhere. On the other hand, allowing corporate information to be accessed on devices that are mobile and capable of falling into the wrong hands produces a host of new security issues. This creates a difficult balancing act for employers who want their employees to be productive, but still want to maintain control over the information being accessed. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Privacy, Regulatory

Michigan’s New Law Protects Online Privacy

Social MediaMichigan’s new law, the Internet Privacy Protection Act (IPPA), protects employees, potential employees, students and applicants from giving employers and educators access to their personal social media accounts. Under the new law, accounts such as Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Twitter are covered. Employers and school administrators can’t discharge, fail to hire or admit or otherwise penalize their current or potential employees or students for refusing their request. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Privacy

Barbie vs. Bratz: The Tirade of a Trade Secret

Trade SecretsLet's take a look at a common scenario.  An employee named Ted leaves a company, let's say "Company A," and goes to work for another company in the same industry – "Company B."  While employed by Company A, Ted worked on key projects and had access to and developed many new and creative concepts.  When Ted joins Company B, he implements many of the new and creative concepts he helped develop while working for Company A.  Company B later commercializes some of these concepts developed and brought over by Ted.  Company A then sues Company B, claiming misappropriation of trade secrets.  A trade secret, of course, is any information that has economic value because it is not generally known to the public and is subject to efforts to keep the information secret.  This scenario is common - the characters in the real life saga of Mattel v MGA Entertainment are not. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets