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Individual & Employee Rights Blog

The ‘Gig Economy’ and Your Wage Rights as an Independent Contractor

The ‘Gig Economy’ and Your Wage Rights as an Independent Contractor

Technology companies, such as Uber and Lyft, tout the benefits of the “gig economy,” in which workers are designated as independent contractors, not employees. The problem is, independent-contractor status often does not benefit workers.

Being an independent contractor is, theoretically, beneficial because workers are their own boss, working whenever and as much as they want. However, the companies are typically the real beneficiaries of the independent contractor designation. This is because independent contractors are typically exempt from the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the federal statute that governs the payment of wages, such as a minimum wage or overtime pay. Accordingly, companies can entice workers to work long hours, for low pay, and without overtime.

Because of the lower associated costs, companies often misclassify employees as independent contractors. The problem is so rampant that the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the federal agency that enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, is actively working with the IRS to combat employee misclassification.

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Customer Harassment is Unlawful – and the Employer is Liable

In December 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) won a major victory for employees in EEOC v. Costco Wholesale Corp., especially those working in the service industry.  Importantly, the case underscores the fact that all employees are entitled to a safe, secure and fair workplace free of sexual harassment, including harassment by customers that an employer is aware of and fails to remedy.

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EEOC Achievements in 2016 Highlighted by Discrimination Resolutions

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its 2016 Fiscal Year (FY) Performance Report. The report outlines the EEOC’s accomplishments in FY 2016, which ran from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016.

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It was a Good Year for the False Claims Act

Lebau & Neuworth attorneys frequently represent current and former employees at all levels -- from top executive to factory-floor workers -- in whistleblowing claims under the False Claims Act. We have at least two cases now under Department of Justice Review, and in 2015 we settled a client’s False Claims Act case against the former employer for nearly $15 million.

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Employees May be Entitled to Additional Leave from Employers as a 'Reasonable Accommodation'

Employers do not realize that, even if an employee’s leave is no longer covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) or was not covered in the first place, other protections may apply. This includes protections created by the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.), as amended. The law is intended to protect persons with disabilities.

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Stephen Lebau Recognized as a Top Rated Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell

Posted on December 22, 2016 in Employee Rights, Employment Law

Lebau & Neuworth attorney Stephen Lebau has been awarded the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell rating by his peers and the Judiciary – the Martindale-Hubbell 2016 AV Preeminent Award – Judicial Edition. Stephen’s AV Preeminent Award is the premier ranking for both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards, reflecting the opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary.

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Attorneys Lebau and Neuworth are Both 10-Time Recipients of 'Super Lawyer' Rankings

Posted on December 16, 2016 in

For 10 years now, Lebau & Neuworth attorneys Stephen Lebau and Richard Neuworth have been rated by Super Lawyers as "Top Lawyers" in their respective fields of legal practice.

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Lebau & Neuworth Files Lawsuit for Employment Discrimination Case against Verizon

Attorneys at Lebau & Neuworth filed a lawsuit against Verizon on behalf of a victim of employment discrimination by the company. In this case, our client worked for Verizon for nearly two decades as a cable splicing technician and was discriminated against because of his religion and retaliated against because he reported the discrimination.

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Discipline After Complaints Of Discrimination Can Establish Retaliation Claims

Recently in Williams v. Ricoh Ams., the Federal District Court in Virginia made an important ruling in favor of employees who exercise their rights under anti-discrimination statutes. In the case, Mr. Williams, a 58 year-old African American male, was successfully employed by the defendant employer, Ricoh Americas Corporation, for 13 years.

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Lebau & Neuworth Honored as a 'Best Law Firm' by US News

Posted on November 15, 2016 in Counseling & Assessment, Employee Rights

U.S. News and World Report has named Lebau & Neuworth as one if its 2017 Best Law Firms. Specifically, Lebau & Neuworth was ranked in the prestigious "Tier 1" in the Baltimore Metropolitain area for its Employment Law for Individuals and its Labor & Employment Litigation services.

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Client With Disability Receives Justice Through The EEOC

Patricia Bonds, a client of Lebau & Neuworth, worked as a food clerk at Safeway's Westminster, Maryland, store when she sustained a work-related injury that substantially limited her ability to lift. Although Safeway initially accommodated Bonds' disability by reassigning her to work at the customer service desk, the store abruptly placed her on indefinite unpaid leave, claiming that she had exhausted her time limits for modified duty.

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