and all the BS fit to read!

ARE YOUR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS ACTUALLY EMPLOYEES?

ARE YOUR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS ACTUALLY EMPLOYEES?

Oct 12, 2011

ARE YOUR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS ACTUALLY EMPLOYEES? A.  TWO RECENT DEPARTMENT OF LABOR PRESS RELEASES WHD News Release: [10/04/2011] Contact Name: Rhonda Burke or Scott Allen Phone Number: (312) 353-4807 or x6976 Release Number: 11-1425-CHI Judge rules Ohio-based Cascom employees misclassified as independent contractors, denied overtime pay in suit brought by US Labor Department Court yet to determine amount of wages and damages owed; more than $1.6 million sought DAYTON, Ohio — In a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against Cascom Inc. and president Julia J. Gress alleging wage violations, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose has ruled that the Fairfield, Ohio, company violated federal labor laws by misclassifying its employees as independent contractors and, consequently, not compensating them for overtime work, as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Cascom, which provided residential cable television, Internet and telephone installation services for Time Warner in the Dayton area, will be subject to further proceedings to determine the amount of overtime back wages owed to approximately 250 installers. The Labor Department filed its suit two years ago seeking to recover back wages in excess of $800,000 with an equal amount in liquidated damages, based on the findings of an investigation conducted by the Columbus District Office of the department’s Wage and Hour Division. The hearing on damages has been set for Nov. 22. “The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is an alarming trend. The practice is a serious threat to both workers, who are entitled to good and safe jobs, and to employers who obey the law and are undercut when others use illegal practices,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The Department of Labor is committed to remedying employee misclassification and ensuring compliance to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce.” News Release WHD News Release: [09/19/2011] Contact Name: Laura McGinnis or Sonia Melendez Phone Number: (202) 693-4653 or x4672 Release Number: 11-1373-NAT Labor secretary, IRS commissioner sign memorandum of understanding to improve agencies’ coordination on employee misclassification compliance and education 11 state agency leaders also sign, agree to memorandums of understanding WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today hosted a ceremony at U.S. Department...

Non-Compete Agreements Under Georgia Law

Non-Compete Agreements Under Georgia Law

Jul 20, 2011

Gary Whitaker of Whitaker Business Law In May of 2011, HB 30 was signed into law. This law implements recent changes to the Georgia Constitution ratified by the Georgia voters on November 2, 2010.  For many years Georgia had been viewed as being one of the US states with the most legal hurdles to enforcing non-compete agreements, especially non-compete agreements against prior employees. A failure to specify reasonable geographic or duration restrictions, or the scope of prohibited activities, among other deficiencies, would completely void a non-compete, and courts were not permitted to modify the restraints to make them reasonable. As a result, relatively minor issues could completely void a non-compete, allowing, for example, a former officer of a company to start up a competing business across the street.  While Georgia and federal law prohibited (and still prohibits) a former employee from using confidential information, such as confidential customer lists, in his or her new position, in the absence of evidence that the identity of the customers was confidential information, or that such customers were solicited by the former employee, a company could not get legal assurances that a former key employee could be prohibited from opening a competing business immediately upon termination of employment. The Georgia constitutional amendment, and the implementing legislation, attempted to bring Georgia back into the legal mainstream in this area, but it still retained many protections for employees.  Critical distinctions are made as to (1) the type of employee who may be made subject to post employment restrictions and (2) the nature of those restrictions, whether pertaining to confidential information, solicitation of employees or creating a competing business. The major features of this new law are the provisions concerning post employment solicitation of employees and competing with the prior employer.  In either case, the employer seeking to enforce the restriction must prove a legitimate business reason justifying it. An employee may be prohibited for two year s following termination of employment (the law does not distinguish between terminations for differing reasons), from soliciting the employer’s customers or actively sought prospective customers, with whom the employee had material contact during the term of his or her employment, without regard to any geographic...

New Georgia Law HB 30

New Georgia Law HB 30

Jun 9, 2011

New Georgia Law Allows Employers to Enforce Stronger Non-Compete Agreements In May of 2011 HB 30 was signed into law, implementing a change to Georgia’s constitution approved in 2010, which gave Georgia business owners more latitude in structuring non-compete agreements, not only with employees, but with contractors and with sellers of businesses being purchased.  The bill provides a number of guidelines, but generally allows non-compete agreements that are reasonable in the context of the specific situation, and it generally brings Georgia’s law on this subject into the mainstream among US states.  But non-competes that are enforceable in one situation may not be enforceable in another; a non compete for a key sales employee can be broader than for a clerical worker, for example.  Any business seeking to protect its business with reasonable non-compete agreements should consider reviewing and revising its agreements, and perhaps requiring existing, as well as new, employees to sign an appropriate agreement. Employees who are asked to sign such agreements should be aware of the likelihood of their being enforceable. — Gary R. Whitaker Whitaker Business Law The Gates at Sugarloaf 1325 Satellite Blvd, Ste 1604 Suwanee, GA 30024 Cell: 310-405-1044...

Legal and Regulatory Considerations in Hiring Employees

Legal and Regulatory Considerations in Hiring Employees

Apr 5, 2011

A big step for a business owner is hiring the first employees.  Of course there are the financial and operational issues, but what legal and regulatory issues arise? Following is a brief discussion of several considerations: 1. Liability. When a business is operated by a single individual or perhaps a husband and wife team, they might not have formed a corporation, a limited liability company or another limited liability business entity, because of concerns about costs, record keeping, or a belief that any contract or tort liability the business incurred also would be directly attributable to that owner. However, when a business hires an employee, the negligent acts of that employee that injure, or damage the property of, others in the course of that employee’s employment activities are the responsibility of the business. If a limited liability business entity is not the employer, the injured party could sue the owners personally, seeking judgment liens against all of their personal assets. So while insurance is a good idea, so too is creating a limited liability business entity when an employee is hired. 2. Employment Laws.  Many laws become applicable when an employee is hired, and even if only one employee is hired, the employer must be aware of and comply with a variety of federal and state laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (requiring, among other things, overtime pay to “non-exempt” employees), Federal and State anti-discrimination and harassment laws, OSHA requirements of reports of injuries and maintenance of MSDS forms, requirements that an I-9 form (regarding authorization to work in the US) must be completed and the file kept on premises, and the employer must comply with laws concerning the use of polygraphs and protection of privacy rights. Federal and State tax laws also require payments of FICA (medicare and social security taxes) and withholdings of other taxes by an employer.  Georgia requires an employer to report to the State New Hire Reporting System all new employees, and compliance with its unemployment compensation laws and regulations. As more employees are hired, Georgia law requires workers compensation insurance (at three or more employees). As the number of employees reaches 11, additional OSHA reporting obligations arise,...

Choosing the Best Form of Business Entity

Choosing the Best Form of Business Entity

Mar 21, 2011

Gary Whitaker There are many different types of entities available to conduct your business.  While there are many factors that could influence your choice, four of the major reasons are liability protection, taxation, management flexibility and documentation requirements. The major forms available to business owners in the United States are as follows: 1. Sole Proprietorship 2. General Partnership 3. Limited Partnership 4. Limited Liability Company 5. C Corporation 6. S Corporation 7. Close Corporation 8.  Professional Corporation Each of these types of entities has its advantages and disadvantages. SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP. A sole proprietorship is a common form for one-person businesses. This means that the individual is running the business in his or her individual capacity.  There is no liability protection, and all of the debts or liabilities of the business are the individual’s personal debts and liabilities. Benefits are the low cost, with a business license perhaps being required, depending on local county or city regulations and the type and nature of the business being conducted, and a “doing business as” filing required with the clerk of county in which the business is located if the business is not being conducted in the name of the individual.  There is no need to create a business with the office of the Secretary of State.  Income or losses of the business are included in the individual’s income for federal and state tax purposes. GENERAL PARTNERSHIP.  A general partnership is essentially two or more individuals who are acting jointly, and has many of the benefits of a sole proprietorship, including no need to create a business with the office of the Secretary of State.  All that is needed to form a general partnership is two individuals agreeing to run a business and to share profits.  A general partnership can be created without any written partnership agreement being agreed upon and signed, although a complete agreement that specifies the partners’ respective rights and obligations is certainly advisable.  A major disadvantage of this form of business is that each partner is liable for the contract and tort obligations created by the other partner in his or her business activities.  For example, if a partner runs into and injures another...

Plugin by Social Author Bio