Todd Lebowitz

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Schrödinger’s Cat? Ninth Circuit Disrupts Trucking Industry with Contractor Misclassification Ruling

Have you heard of Schrödinger’s cat? It’s not a real cat, like Felix or Brian Setzer. It’s a hypothetical, seemingly impossible cat that exists only in the world of quantum physics. Schrödinger’s cat refers to a thought experiment in which a cat in a box is simultaneously alive and dead, until you open the box … Continue Reading

Illinois Enacts New Background Check Requirements

Background check compliance has been a technical minefield for years. Federal, state and local requirements differ, meaning that multistate employers have a lot to keep track of. Illinois just planted a new landmine. Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act impose new requirements on employers conducting background checks in Illinois. Governor Pritzker signed the bill … Continue Reading

Snapshot or Long Exposure? Dep’t Of Labor Approves New IC Test … For Now

This octopus in New Zealand has been trained to take photos of visitors to the Sea Life Aquarium. That’s a pretty neat trick. I’m sure the visitors love it and will pay whatever exorbitant fee the aquarium charges to profit on the back of its cephalopod slave labor, but will the photos last? Do the … Continue Reading

Bring Forth the Tiger-Dogs! Here’s a Quick Status Check on the Challenges to California’s New Independent Contractor Law

When outside forces pose a threat to people’s livelihood, people will go to great lengths to fight back. For example, when monkeys began ravaging the crops of a farmer in Karnataka, India, the imaginative farmer painted his dog to look like a tiger, to scare away the pesky invaders. [Photo here.] Business owners in California … Continue Reading

Not Dead Yet: The States’ New Strategy for Attacking Independent Contractor Misclassification Can Be Relentless — and Costly.

For years, state governments have claimed they were losing hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid withholdings as a result of independent contractor misclassification. Now, one state is making a grab for a massive piece of that pie — all at once. On November 12, the state of New Jersey sent a bill to Uber … Continue Reading

Labor Department Withdraws 2015-16 Joint Employment, Independent Contractor Guidance

Did the new Labor Secretary finally throw employers a bone? We think so, but it’s too early to tell whether it’s delicious bacon-flavored or some generic processed meat flavor. On June 7, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced it was withdrawing the 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractor misclassification.  The … Continue Reading

New NYC Law Requires Written Agreements for Solo Contractors, Even Nannies and Babysitters!

Do you have a nanny or a housekeeper? A regular babysitter? If so, pay attention. Anyone hiring a solo independent contractor in New York City will need to comply with the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which takes effect May 15, 2017. Anyone. Individuals included. The Act requires a written agreement for all contracts where the value … Continue Reading

Joint Employment Update: What’s The Status of Browning-Ferris and the NLRB?

In August 2015, the NLRB rewrote the book on joint employment, declaring in the Browning-Ferris case that the right to exercise minimal control, even if not actually exercised, was enough to create a joint employment relationship.  (Read more here.) Previously, joint employment under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) required the actual exercise of a meaningful … Continue Reading

NLRB Makes Up More New Rules on Joint Employment

Remember that kid in elementary school who, whenever you were winning at some made-up playground game, would change the rules in the middle? “Kids can be so unfair,” your parent might have said, trying to console you. “But when you get older, there are laws and rules, and they’re written down. Everyone knows what the rules … Continue Reading

Oregon Limits Criminal Background Inquiries by Employers

Oregon became the seventh state to ban the box for private employers, prohibiting any questions about criminal background on employment applications and at any time before an initial interview takes place. Oregon’s law took effect January 1, 2016. Ban-the-box laws have become increasingly prevalent as a way to help provide ex-offenders an opportunity to be … Continue Reading
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