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California High Court Adopts New Test For Independent Contractors

May 2, 2018

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In its decision on April 30, the California Supreme Court established a new test for classifying workers as independent contractors, with significant implications for the so-called “gig economy.” In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, the Supreme Court laid out the “ABC Test,” which presumptively considers all workers to be employees and permits an independent contractor classification only if the hiring entity can show that all of the following conditions are met:

  • The worker has freedom from control or direction of the hiring entity over how to perform the work, both under contract and in fact;
  • The service is outside the company’s usual course of business or outside of all the places of business for which the service is performed; and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring
  • Post-Contractual Non-Competes – a never ending story

    April 30, 2018

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    There are few clauses in employment contracts more heavily debated than Non-Competition Clauses (post-contractual non-competes). While employers tend to include them rather easily in order to protect company secrets beyond the term of an employment, strict and mandatory provisions under German law differ from those found in most other jurisdictions. For post-contractual non-competes to be enforceable, an entire catalogue of requirements must be met, including a mandatory compensation payment of at least 50% of the employee`s total earnings for the maximum term of two years – to name just the two most prominent requirements. Because of the potential financial impact on employers, it is highly advisable to carefully consider whether post-contractual non-competes are necessary at all and, if so, whether they will be enforceable.

    Two recent decisions in January 2018 by the Federal Labor Court/ BAG (10 AZR 392/179) and by the Appeals Court/ LAG Düsseldorf (Az: 7 Sa 185/17)

    New York Passes Anti-Sexual Harassment Measures: What All Employers Must Know

    On April 12, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York state budget into law.  Beyond the dollars and cents associated with a typical budget bill, the legislation included new requirements for private and public employers to address sexual harassment in the workplace. While effective dates for the various measures are staggered over the next year, employers should start preparing now to comply with each provision:

    • Effective immediately: The budget bill amended the New York State Human Rights Law to prohibit harassment against “non-employees” who provide services under a contract, including contractors, vendors, and consultants. If an employer knew or should have known that a protected “non-employee” was sexually harassed at its office or workplace, the employer may be liable if it does not take appropriate action.
    • Effective July 9, 2018: Employers may include nondisclosure/confidentiality clauses in settlement or release agreements dealing with sexual harassment claims only if the

    GDPR HR Series: Employee Information Notices About Personal Data – Your Key Questions Answered

    Following the combination of the Labor & Employment practices at Bryan Cave and BLP, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s combined team now includes over 120 employment lawyers in offices across the US, UK, France, Germany and Russia, with excellent capabilities and a strong network in Asia. Committed to collaboration, and with our strengthened offering, experience and substantive knowledge advising clients on GDPR, we bring you our new ‘GDPR HR Issues’  blog series. Drawing on key insights from across our team, the series highlights the key GDPR issues affecting employers.

    The General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) comes into force in less than two months. From an HR perspective it imposes data obligations on any US, European or other employer with EU-based staff. Failure to comply with the GDPR regime can result in significant fines and disruption to your business. Are you ready?

    Our first blog deals with ‘privacy notices’ aimed at staff.

    Supreme Court Rejects “Narrow” Reading of Overtime Exemption and Concludes that Auto Dealership Service Advisors are Exempt From Overtime

    On its second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, a six-year-long dispute between five auto dealership employees and their employer came to an end when the Supreme Court found that the employees were properly classified as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  In the case, plaintiffs Hector Navarro and four other employees worked as service advisors—employees who meet and greet customers bringing their cars to dealerships for service or maintenance and suggest and sell such services to customers.

    The service advisors in this case filed suit in 2012, claiming back pay under the FLSA for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week on the basis that they were misclassified as exempt.  Specifically, the employees argued that they neither sold nor repaired vehicles and, therefore, were improperly denied overtime in violation of the FLSA.  The employees also alleged violation of California state wage and hour laws.

    Employers Can Maintain a Drug Free Workplace in California Despite State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

    California’s passage of the “Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” commonly referred to as Proposition 64, legalized the sale, possession, and use of recreational marijuana under limited circumstances. Marijuana still remains an illegal Schedule I substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act and therefore still subject to prosecution under federal law. Many employers wonder what effect, if any, Proposition 64 has on their ability to maintain a drug free workplace.

    Bryan Cave attorneys just released a client alert on this topic. Click here to read the Alert in full.

    Bryan Cave LLP has a team of knowledgeable lawyers and other professionals prepared to help employers comply with California law. If you or your organization would like more information on Proposition 64, or any other employment issue, please contact an attorney in the Labor and Employment practice group.

    Less than 90 days to go – are you GDPR compliant?

    “GDPR – please not again …” In recent times there is hardly any other legal topic more often written and talked about than the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

    In light of the severe penalties and with less than 100 days until the GDPR goes into full effect (on May 25th, 2018), it is time for U.S. companies to take steps to prepare. Below are some key points to consider and pragmatic to-dos to assist in assessing whether your organization is ready for GDPR compliance.

    • GDPR may apply to U.S.-based companies with zero employees and no offices within the boundaries of the EU territory

    While the EU Data Protection Directive of 1995 did not apply to businesses outside the EU territory, this is no longer the case under GDPR.

    Now any business may be subject to the new law if it processes personal data of an

    Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 6: Closing the Investigation and Additional Steps Thereafter

    This final installment of a six-part series on harassment investigations discusses how to close the investigation and steps to take after the investigation has been closed.  As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances.

    Close the Investigation

    Once the investigation has concluded, it is essential to close the investigation with the complainant, each witness, and the accused.  It may also be prudent, in some circumstances, to follow-up with the entire workforce. All close-out meetings that are held should be documented. When closing the investigation with the complainant, and generally with each witness, here are the key points to tell each person:

    • We are closing our investigation based on the information as we know it now. (This allows you to reopen if you learn more later.)
    • The Company has a strong non-discrimination and non-harassment policy. (Consider providing or

    Supreme Court Narrowly Construes the Definition of a Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank

    The Supreme Court held that an individual must report alleged wrongdoing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to qualify for protection from whistleblower retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act.

    Click here to read the Alert written by Bryan Cave attorneys on 2/21/18.

    For more information about the SEC Whistleblower Program, click here. For more information about this update, or if you have any questions regarding Bryan Cave’s White Collar Defense and Investigations or Securities Litigation and Enforcement Groups, contact Mark Srere or Jennifer Mammen in Washington, D.C., at +1 202-508-6000, or for Bryan Cave’s Labor and Employment group, contact Elaine Koch or Jennifer Berhorst in Kansas City, MO, at +1 816-374-3200.

    Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 5: Other Sources of Evidence, Summarizing the Investigation, and Reaching a Conclusion

    Before concluding a harassment investigation, the investigator should follow up with other possible sources of evidence, record and summarize the investigation, and reach a conclusion.  This fifth part of a six-part series discusses these final steps in the investigation process.  As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances.

    Follow Up With Other Possible Sources of Evidence

    The investigator should consider whether any other sources of evidence exist that could aid in the investigation process and gather any such evidence. If the evidence is in the possession of either the complainant or the accused, the investigator should ask that the evidence be shared with him/her.

    Some examples of physical evidence that may aid in the investigation process are:

    • Time cards
    • Calendars or diaries
    • Telephone records
    • Travel logs
    • Expense reports
    • Notes, letters, cards, and/or handwriting samples
    • Emails, voice mails,
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