Independent Contractor Rule is Withdrawn

Independent Contractor, or Not …

Divining the difference between the traditional employee and an independent contractor has an inherent level of uncertainty, particularly in this era of gig workers and home offices brought about by the Covid pandemic.

Shortly before the end of the Trump administation, the Department of Labor had announced a new standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) that was focused on a pair of core factors — worker control and opportunity for profit.  The Biden administration has reversed course, however, and the Department of Labor has withdrawn the rule change.

Determination of independent contractor status under the FSLA will rely on the balancing of traditional factors.

On May 5, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced it is officially withdrawing, effective May 6, 2021, the rule promulgated under the Trump administration addressing the standard to determine whether an individual is properly classified as an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The rule, which was rolled out two weeks before the end of President Trump’s term, was initially scheduled to take effect on March 8, 2021 but was delayed by President Biden until May 7, 2021.

Read more … U.S. Department of Labor Announces Withdrawal of Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rule

Is a Single Racist Slur Enough?

The Supreme Court has been agreed to decide whether a single use of the N-word is sufficient to create a hostile work environment?

The plaintiff Robert Collier alleged that the N-word etched into the wall of an elevator and swastikas painted in a supply room were not removed, creating the hostile environment.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and Collier has petitioned the Supreme Court for review.

The Supreme Court has been asked to decide an issue that has sowed confusion among the various appellate courts around the country: can a single workplace use of the N-word constitute a hostile work environment under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

This legal question arises during a long overdue reckoning about how to address systemic racial discrimination in this country. Indeed, an employee in one case, Collier v. Dallas County Hospital District, has specifically requested that the Supreme Court decide this issue.

The N-word “sums up . . . all the bitter years of insult and struggle in America, [is] pure anathema to African-Americans, and [is] probably the most offensive word in English.” These words were spoken by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a case he decided years ago while still serving on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The N-word slur is a “singularly odious epithet” that “reminds [Black Americans] of an unshakeable ‘otherness,’ an outsider status in the larger social, economic, and political dynamics of a given society.” Michele Goodwin, N***** and the Construction of Citizenship, 76 Temp. L. Rev. 129, 141 (2003).

Read more …. Can Saying the “N-word” Create a Hostile Work Environment? The Supreme Court May Soon Weigh In.

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