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Showing 12 posts in Employment.

Fiduciary Rule update: the beginning of the end?

Shortly after our first article on the DOL Fiduciary Rule the White House issued an Executive Order that requires the Department of Labor (the "DOL") to revisit the Fiduciary Rule (the "Fiduciary Rule" or the "Rule") and the Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (the "PTEs") that were amended alongside it. President Trump's Executive Order requires the DOL to determine if the rule will adversely affect retirement investors or financial firms. If the answer is yes, the expectation is that the Fiduciary Rule and the related PTEs will not survive as currently written, and the DOL will rescind or revise the Rule. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News

The New Fiduciary Rule and its Future

Financial advisingWith a sea of political change in Washington this year, many are speculating on what regulatory reforms the Trump administration and a Republican Congress will make in 2017. One reform in particular is commonly mentioned: a repeal, delay, or revision of the new Department of Labor ("DOL") fiduciary rule (the "Fiduciary Rule"). Given that the Trump administration is widely seen as anti-regulation, and the Fiduciary Rule is one of the most sweeping pieces of regulation regarding retirement investors and the financial industry since the implementation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") in 1974, speculation about the Fiduciary Rule's impending review and revision are not unfounded. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News

Lawsuits Encouraged by Sixth Circuit Decision Where Customer and Employee Sensitive Data Breached

Cyber SecurityA recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the “Sixth Circuit”) may make it easier for plaintiffs to bring costly lawsuits against companies that allow sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands. Most troubling from a company's perspective, the Sixth Circuit used language that some states legally require in data breach notification letters to justify allowing the case to move forward. Read more about this case here.

Categories: Employment, News, Technology

Employers Should Audit and Update Employment-Related Policies and Agreements in Light of New “Defend Trade Secrets Act”

Trade SecretPresident Obama recently signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act creates a new cause of action - which became effective immediately - for trade secret misappropriation.

Prior to the Act, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were primarily governed by state law. The Act creates federal jurisdiction for claims brought under the Act, which provides plaintiffs with the option to sue in federal court. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets

Unpaid Internships Give Rise to Government Enforcement and Class Actions Against Employers

InternsThe misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common and serious issue affecting employers and workers in the technology sector. We recently touched on the legal challenges facing “on demand” technology companies such as Uber and Lyft due to their classification of drivers as independent contractors.

But employee vs. independent contractor is not the only classification issue that technology companies and investors must grapple with. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Fenox Venture Capital, recently agreed to pay $331,269 in back wages after the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) found the company misclassified 56 workers as unpaid interns. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Startup

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

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

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

voluntary settlement programEmployee 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, 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

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