Employment / Labor Law

Costly Wage and Hour Claims Under the FLSA: Four Questions Energy Companies Must Ask About Independent Contractors

Increased scrutiny of the oil and gas industry by the US Department of Labor (DOL) has led to investigations regarding compliance with complex regulations involving classification of workers and pay practices. As a result, some employers have paid large settlements to the US government. Beyond the immediate costs and reptutational damage these settlements can cause,

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Legal Medical and Recreational Cannabis: What An Employer Needs To Know

The legislatures of virtually all states in the United States, and many non-U.S. jurisdictions, are considering the legality of recreational and medical use of cannabis. Whether or not you are personally interested in the issue, it may effect your workplace.  The legalization of cannabis, and consequent use thereof by your employees, raises workplace-impact questions and will

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Determining Company Liability For Employee Expenses: You May Be Surprised

The scope of an employer’s liability for expense reimbursement is a subject of debate in many jurisdictions. Often the requirement for reimbursement depends upon the status of an employee: almost always a company must reimburse all employees for business-related travel expenses, but what about personal PDA use by a senior manager?  Further, is reimbursement necessary

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Immigration Visas: Many Roads Lead To Work in the United States

Whether you are a retail, service, or manufacturing business, trying to bring foreign workers into your United States workforce is fraught with strictly detailed requirements and, more often than not, confusion.   Recent developments in L visa enforcement (see our earlier article here) emphasize the need for employers to meet with a professional to determine which of

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U.S. Work Visa Clarifications: Will They Result in Increased Approvals?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service recently implemented a memo intended to clarify for USCIS officers how to apply the “specialized knowledge” requirement when reviewing petitions for the L-1B visa. The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa classification allowing companies to transfer employees from a related foreign entity to a U.S. company.  Historically, the

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What Constitutes Employee Income? The Answer Varies From Country To Country

An employee’s income level may govern how the employee is categorized for a variety of purposes, such as determination of benefits, governmental and tax obligations, etc. In Australia the value of certain non-monetary employment benefits such as use of a company car, iPhone, and iPad, will be added to the calculation of annual income for purposes of

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Social Media Background Employment Checks And Potential Pitfalls

The use of social media for employment background checks is now an established process for many employers. To protect themselves from allegations of using protected characteristics of applicants while investigating potential employees’ social media sites, U.S. employers are increasingly using the services of third party background-check companies. Such investigations may trigger the stringent requirements of

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New Teeth To United States Anti-Kickback Statute Enforcement

Health care anti-kickback statutes make it illegal to knowingly offer, pay, solicit, or receive any remuneration to induce or reward referrals subject to reimbursement by a U.S. federal health care program. Recently the Office of Inspector General released a Fraud Alert clarifying those transactions and arrangements it may deem questionable.  This Fraud Alert and recent activity

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Independent Contractor Or Employee: Canada Has a Third Classification

Most countries distinguish between various types of workers to determine application of labor and employment laws, liability, tax issues, and benefits. In addition to the classifications of employee and independent contractor. Canada recognizes a third classification: dependent contractor. Employers have different responsibilities to this intermediate classification than to independent contractors. Based upon factors set forth

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Independent Contractor Or Employee: The U.S. Government Takes a Broad View Of The Definition of “Employee”

Most countries distinguish between various types of workers to determine application of labor and employment laws, liability, tax issues, and benefits. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor when the correct classification is actually employee can result in liability on a range of legal fronts. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Interpretation offering

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