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September 2015 L&E Update from Baker Donelson

Submitted by Firm:
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Firm Contacts:
Kathlyn Perez, Phyllis G. Cancienne, Robert C. Divine
Article Type:
Legal Update
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Is that Fall in the air, or just a cold wind blowing from the powers that be onto employers everywhere? Read on to find out if rising minimum wages, tightened time-limit notification rules for judicial filings, joint-employment agreements or employee misclassifications are about to give you the Big Chill.

Employee Misclassification Goes Viral with the Introduction of On-Demand Start-Ups, but the DOL May Have Just Crashed the Server

Zachary Buseyzbusey@bakerdonelson.com

With the introduction of on-demand companies such as Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit, employee misclassification issues have increased dramatically. The FLSA and the DOL are both wading into the fray to try to sort out the differences between employees and independent contractors and to enforce the rules for employers. More...

City of Birmingham Raises Minimum Wage, Establishes Severe Employer Penalties in Aggressive Wage and Hour Ordinance

Rachel Barlottarbarlotta@bakerdonelson.com

The Birmingham, Alabama, City Council recently passed an aggressive wage and hour ordinance that raises the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2017. Since the State of Alabama did not previously have any laws that required payment of a minimum wage, this is a dramatic departure from past practices. And the penalties for not complying are steep.  More..

Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Christopher G. Morriscmorris@bakerdonelson.com

In a recent ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a description of internal plan deadlines for seeking judicial review of benefit claims denials in initial benefit denial letters sent to claimants. The answer is yes.  More...

NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standards Results in a Major Change in Business Relationships

Robert M. Williams Jr.rwilliams@bakerdonelson.com
Ben Bodzybbodzy@bakerdonelson.com

The National Labor Relations Board's recent decision regarding the joint employer standard in business relationships gutted more than 30 years of precedent. Under this decision contractors and subcontractors, franchisors and franchisees, employers and staffing companies (and others) may all be deemed to be joint employers and each subject to collective bargaining obligations and unfair labor practice liability under the National Labor Relations Act.  More...

Immigration Corner: Visa Bulletin 2.0 and its Implications for Early Filing for Adjustment of Status

Robert C. Divinerdivine@bakerdonelson.com

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Government pleasantly surprised the immigration world by publishing a new type of monthly Visa Bulletin for October 2015 with USCIS announcement about a new approach to the timing of the ability to take the last steps toward permanent residence. Bottom line: People otherwise eligible and present in the U.S. can file for "adjustment of status" and get interim work and travel documents significantly earlier than when their place in the queue for limited visa numbers is set for green card approval. More...