Here’s some good news if you use truly independent contractors to perform work. If you have done it right, you don’t have to worry about losing an age discrimination lawsuit. But there’s a caveat: You must make sure you can easily prove your contractor wasn’t really an employee.
Employees who are called to active military service have certain job protections, including the right to return to their old or similar jobs. But those rights have limits. The law doesn’t require reinstating a veteran to her old job at the same facility where she worked before if the employer no longer has jobs there.
When you hire someone, you have presumably concluded that the new employee has met at least the minimum requirements for job success. Of course, sometimes that turns out to be wrong. But think twice if you’re tempted to fire an employee who isn’t working out, and that person is your first-ever employee belonging to a particular protected class.
When retail giant Walmart allegedly threatened to fire an employee who advocated for unionizing a store in Hastings, the United Food and Commercial Workers’ union filed National Labor Relations Act unfair labor practices charges. Now Walmart has settled with the National Labor Relations Board.
The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, which investigates discrimination charges, has been sued over an allegedly negligent investigation.
The owner of a Hermantown construction company observed one of his workers in a trench performing his job incorrectly. So to get his attention, he nudged him … with the backhoe. The owner was charged with second-degree assault.
Sometimes you realize early on that a recent hire is not going to work out. He may have looked good on paper, but isn’t doing well on the job. It may then be time to cut your losses.
Things started out rocky last November for American Building Maintenance (ABM), a nationwide janitorial services conglomerate, when ICE agents busted it for employing 1,200 undocumented workers. Bad turned to worse in January when the EEOC filed a complaint against ABM, alleging race discrimination against black workers hired last fall through a nonprofit Minneapolis employment agency called Emerge.
Dr. Steven Radjenovich contacted federal officials when he believed Wheaton Community Hospital was manipulating hospital stays to overcharge the federal government. As a result, he will share in the almost $850,000 fine the hospital will pay to settle the charges.
Employers sometimes use independent contractors as a way to lower their benefits and other labor costs. But that kind of economizing can turn out to be quite expensive if a court decides that the independent contractor is really an employee. One of the deciding factors in such cases is how much independence a worker has to control his work. The greater the employer’s control, the greater the likelihood that the “independent contractor” is really an employee.