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California Joins With DOL to Fight Independent Contractor Fraud; Pacts Also Signed By 11 Other States

California is the most recent state to enter into a pact with the U.S. Labor Department aimed at cracking down the improper classification of employees as independent contractors. Nancy J. Leppink, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, and California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su announced their recently signed memorandum […]

News Notes: Living Wage Law Survives Constitutional Challenge

  The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld the City of Berkeley’s living wage law in the face of a challenge to its constitutionality.1Berkeley’s law, enacted in 2000, requires certain city contractors and lessees to pay workers a minimum hourly wage a few dollars higher than state and federal minimums, plus health benefits. […]

Short Takes: Background Checks

A criminal background check on a new employee has revealed that the employee has a warrant for his arrest (drunk driving). The warrant does not appear to have been resolved. Can we discuss this matter with the employee? If so, and if the employee indicates that the matter has been resolved in the courts, can […]

FedEx May Owe Huge Tab for Diver Misclassification

FedEx Corp., which has been in the hot seat lately over allegations of misclassifying delivery drivers as independent contractors (see CWHA October 2007 and October 2006), could owe a whopping $319 million in back taxes and penalties because of the classification problems, the IRS has tentatively concluded. The IRS assessment, which pertains only to 2002, […]

News Notes: Health Care Privacy Rules Strengthened

New rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act will limit access to medical records maintained by health care providers, health plan insurers and other health care clearing houses. Under the new rules, a patient’s written consent is required for routine disclosure or use of health information for any purpose other than treatment and […]

Employment Law Tip: Business Safety Overseas

If your employees travel around the world as part of their job duties, they can face a variety of unique safety concerns, including political unrest or acts of terrorism. One of the things you can do to ensure their safety is to make sure they have access to up-to-date information regarding dangerous airports or countries, […]

Clothier Settles Employee “Uniform” Class Action

Fashion retailer Polo Ralph Lauren has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit charging that the company violated California law by requiring employees to buy and wear Polo Ralph Lauren clothes on the job or face disciplinary action. The settlement consists of $1 million in cash and $500,000 in gift cards. […]

IRS Releases 401(k) Compliance Check Survey Results

There are more than half a million 401(k) plans in the United States, covering 60 million Americans, says the IRS. That is just some of the information in the 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire Interim Report, which the IRS released on Feb. 16, 2012. The report summarizes survey responses from 401(k) plan sponsors that filed a […]