What’s Your Vax Status? New Requirements for Federal Employees and ContractorsWith Delta variant infections on the rise, the Biden administration recently announced that “every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to attest to their vaccination status,” and that anyone who “does not attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location,

Race and National Origin Discrimination Claims Cover Discrimination Based on All Races or National OriginsEmployers seeking to diversify their workforces need to remember that Title VII’s prohibition on class-based discrimination still applies — even if your motives are pure. The EEOC announced that it settled a lawsuit in which it alleged that a company was discriminating in favor of Hispanic job applicants over black, white, and Asian applicants.

The

New Administration, New DOL Approach: Department Pulls Back Trump Rulemaking LimitationsWith the new Biden administration now in place, the Department of Labor (DOL) has withdrawn a Trump era measure on guidance documents. Following a recent Executive Order, the DOL issued a final rule on January 27 to rescind the Trump DOL’s prior rule. The result will likely be less public involvement in DOL guidance.

Background

Sixth Circuit Scrubs Attempted Snub of Arbitration of Grubhub Paystub HubbubThere have been many examples of the tension between the “gig economy” and traditional labor laws. Most of the companies like Uber or Grubhub choose to classify their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, which eliminates obligations like overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Seventh Circuit this week dealt with such a

Unpaid Interns and a Lunch Order Gone Bad: Jury Returns FLSA Retaliation Verdict Against Martina McBride’s Production CompanyA February 2020 jury verdict against county music star Martina McBride’s production company highlights – albeit indirectly – the perils of unpaid internship programs and the issues they can cause under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Facts

Martina McBride and her husband, John, own Blackbird Studios, which hired Richard Hanson as its operations

Whistleblower Activity Drives False Claims Act Suits in 2019Companies that work with the federal government (think government contracts, grant funding, and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements) need to stay up to date on the federal False Claims Act (FCA). Employee whistleblowers continue to use the FCA as one of their prime tools to bring actions against their employers. In 2019, whistleblowers filed 636 new

Update: Maximum Ending for Alabama Minimum Wage Suit? Eleventh Circuit Affirms Lower Court’s Dismissal of Case Dealing with Inflation of Minimum Wage, But Is It the End?Ever wonder what happened with the minimum wage fight that has been going on between Alabama and Birmingham? Well, here is the latest — the full panel on the Eleventh Circuit has now spoken: the district court rightly dismissed the lawsuit against Alabama’s governor and attorney general alleging discrimination in the state’s minimum wage law. 

We’ve posted on this topic several times before but the battle between independent contractors and employees continues.

Here’s a brief refresher on the basics of why proper classification of employees as independent contractors or employees matters:

  • Employees (not independent contractors) are entitled to workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits.
  • Employees (not independent contractors) have taxes withheld

Take Two: Alabama’s City Versus State Minimum Wage Dispute to Get Full Appellate ReviewMinimum wage laws invite controversy, and Alabama’s latest tug-of-war between the state and its largest city is going to get another wider review. You may recall that back in 2015, Birmingham, Alabama, passed a local minimum wage law. On the heels of that move, the Alabama Legislature then passed a state-wide minimum wage law,

Does the Shutdown Shut Off FLSA Obligations to Unpaid Government Workers?The U.S. federal government shutdown has continued for more than a month, with no probable end in sight. While many government employees are furloughed, an estimated 420,000 others are deemed “essential employees” and are required to continue working without pay during the shutdown. Several essential employees have recently filed putative collective action lawsuits, claiming