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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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Maryland Court Says Employees Can Sue Owners for Owed Wages

Posted on November 1, 2016 in Employee Rights, Wages, Overtime & Commissions

Recently in Rollins v. Rollins Trucking, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1492 (D. Md. Jan. 7, 2016), the Maryland federal court said that bosses and owners possibly could be personally liable for wages owed to employees.

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The Future of the Battle Against Discrimination Through the Eyes of the EEOC

Posted on October 31, 2016 in Discrimination & Harassment, Employee Rights

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP), which sets the EEOC’s priorities for the next five years. This gives insight into what actions the EEOC will consider over the next few years to help combat continued discrimination in the workplace.

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Restrictive Covenants Decision a Positive Development for Employees in Maryland

Posted on October 24, 2016 in Employee Rights, Non-compete Agreements

The Federal court in Maryland has provided a very encouraging roadmap for the law of noncompetes in the state. In fact, the court’s decision is great for an employee who may face an employer who attempts to prohibit him or her from working for another employer who may be a competitor — but the employee is not competing against the former employer.

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Workplace Retaliation: A Review of How to Prove a Claim Against an Employer

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) has just issued Enforcement Guidance on workplace retaliation under federal employment discrimination laws. This Guidance provides an excellent review of what is necessary to prove a retaliation claim.

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Mythbusting: Independent Contractor vs. Employee Status

Employers continue to misclassify workers as independent contractors in order to avoid paying overtime and provide employee benefits. Lebau & Neuworth recently sued the same employer on three separate occasions over a five-year period because it continued to misclassify its employees.

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Retaliation Under The False Claims Act: What An Employee Must Prove

Posted on August 29, 2016 in Employee Rights, Workplace Retaliation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes Maryland, recently issued a decision that nicely sets forth what an employee must prove to establish she/he was retaliated against in violation of the False Claims Act.

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Hunting & Employment Law -- & Justice Scalia

Posted on August 29, 2016 in Employee Rights

A scholarly article explores some seriously troubling ethical issues regarding the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Living with a Disability Through the Americans With Disabilities Act

We owe much of this progress to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the laws that led up to it. Starting in the 1960s, a broad disability rights movement encouraged legislation and policy that gradually desegregated the institutions and spaces that had kept disabled people out and barred them from exercising the privileges and obligations of full citizenship.

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Enforcing Arbitration Agreements – Not So Fast In Maryland Federal Court

Posted on August 22, 2016 in Agreements & Negotiations

Arbitration agreements are unfair and undermine employee rights, and because of that, employers embrace them. But a recent Maryland federal court has slowed down the rush in enforcing unreasonable, employer-mandated arbitration agreements.

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Discrimination Update: Increased Penalty for Violating EEOC’s Posting Rule

Posted on August 15, 2016 in Discrimination & Harassment, Employee Rights

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued a Final Rule increasing the maximum penalty for covered employers who violate the notice posting provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”).

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