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Another reason not to misclassify workers as independent contractors

As I have previously pointed out, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Treasury Department have been pursuing cases of misclassification of workers—that is, the practice of classifying a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee. Employers typically resort to this approach as a means of reducing the employer’s share of withholding taxes—and several other “benefits.” See this previous discussion.

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Restaurant’s social media rules violate National Labor Relations Act


An administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has required a restaurant to rehire and pay back wages to an employee who was fired for violating the restaurant’s social media policy. The employee, a veteran who allegedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), tweeted about—

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Legislature nixes Birmingham minimum-wage law

On February 25, 2016, Governor Robert Bentley signed House Bill 174 which nixed the local minimum-wage ordinance passed by the Birmingham city council on August 18, 2015. The bill then became Alabama Act 2016-18, which is entitled the Alabama Uniform Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act.

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Employers can’t contract out discrimination to temp agencies

An Alabama staffing firm (sometimes called a temp agency) has recently come under fire for employment discrimination. News reports allege that the firm honored requests for whites-only temporary workers. These reports indicate that, sometimes, the client would use code words like “country boys” to request white employees. In its defense, the firm has responded that it does not honor such requests.

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Employers face greater challenge in defending discrimination lawsuits

In a case of first impression, Quigg v. Thomas County School District, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the burden-shifting framework (known as “McDonell Douglas”) established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 for cases involving mixed-motive discrimination claims. Instead, the Court adopted a less stringent standard, allowing claims to proceed where the plaintiff is able to show that (1) the defendant took an adverse employment action against the plaintiff and (2) a protected characteristic was a motivating factor for the adverse employment action.

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