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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

23 Apr Philadelphia U. S. District Court Determines Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors

  On the heels of a San Francisco U.S. Magistrate Judge’s February 2018 ruling in Lawson v. Grubhub Inc. that Grubhub food delivery workers are independent contractors, Judge Michael Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that Uber limousine drivers are likewise independent contractors under federal law. This is the first ruling regarding the classification of Uber drivers under federal law and it is surely to have a large impact on the ride-sharing industry.   The Philadelphia case,…

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23 Apr Employers, You Can Do This

  Being an employer can be frustrating – the rules employers need to follow seem to only increase in variety and complexity, and some employees do the darnedest things.  But BT Currents readers should also realize:  There are a lot of things that can be done proactively to minimize employee issues.  I just wrote this short article trying to pump up employers who are feeling a little down in the dumps.  Employers really can handle the challenges before them, focusing on three things:   Plain…

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20 Apr En Banc Panel Rules in Favor For Administrator In Pay Disparity Case

The question before the panel was simple: can an employer justify a wage differential between male and female employees by relying on prior salary? Based on the text, history, and purpose of the Equal Pay Act, the panel held that prior salary – whether alone or in combination with other factors – may not justify a difference in pay between male and female workers doing the same job.   The opinion was written by Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt prior to his death in early April…

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19 Apr Zero-Tolerance for Upside-Down Burritos

  A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit provides some useful reminders for employers on the benefits of establishing and enforcing zero-tolerance drug policies and effectively documenting performance actions. The case is Caporicci v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Eleventh Circuit Case No. 16-13494.   Like many employers, Chipotle has a drug policy, which prohibits any employee from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances, and also requires that employees who use medically prescribed or…

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18 Apr DOL Issues New Opinion Letters on Wage and Hour Issues – Compensability of Health-Related Rest Breaks

  The DOL recently issued three new Wage and Hour opinion letters on its website giving employers additional guidance on compensation for travel time, pay for health-related rest breaks as well as whether lump sum payments are subject to garnishments. This demonstrates the commitment of the DOL to re-establish the opinion letter program which was eliminated during the Obama administration.  Back in January, the DOL re-issued 17 opinion letters issued by the Bush administration nine years ago but which had been withdrawn during the Obama…

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