Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Zoning Comes With Subtle Hidden Property Tax Benefits

By Barry Sharpe, Esq.

Downtown Miami and Miami Beach are great examples of how major neighborhood revitalization zoning changes often result in significantly reducing the County's taxable assessment value on "old building" structures

In effect, a new Highest and Best Use ("HBU") for the land has probably been created. Developers will now be looking at properties in different ways. With increased densities and taller buildings allowed, the value of the "land portion" typically become more valuable. Those values are now somewhat inversely related.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

The Employer-Employee Relationship: More than Titles and Terminology

by Jonathan Nessler, Esq.

To recover under the Workers Compensation Act in Illinois, an employee-employer relationship must exist between the parties, and the injury must arise out and in the course of the employment. Whether an employee-employer relationship exists is essential to this analysis.

Occasionally, a would-be-employer ask its would-be-employees to sign employment agreements or contracts. Sometimes, the would-be-employer includes language, in the contract, identifying the would-be-employee as an "independent contractor." The contract might even be titled an "Independent Contractor Agreement." It is extremely important for the workers' compensation practitioner to understand that whether the contract names the would-be-employee an "independent contractor" does not control the analysis, and is only a minor consideration.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Businesses Lose as the NLRB Crafts a Solution in Search of a Problem

by Christopher J. Lalak, Esq.

Marking a sea change in labor law and a departure from decades of settled precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) formulated a new joint employer standard in their August 27, 2015, Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. decision.

For the past three decades, whether a joint employer relationship existed turned on the "single employer" test, that is, whether "two nominally separate entities are part of a single integrated enterprise so that, for all purposes, there is in fact a 'single employer.'"[1] Under the settled framework, an entity could only be found to be a joint employer if it exercised actual control over the terms and conditions of employment of another entity's employees.

This recent decision injects a great deal of uncertainty into an area of labor law which was, up until now, quite predictable.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Are Independent Contractors on the Endangered Species List?

by Daniel J. Burnick, Esq.

For years, even decades, there has been discussion and thought in the employment law community that the concept of Independent Contractors would become extinct. Somehow, they have survived, although I believe that they are on the endangered species list. Recently, the Department of Labor released Administrator's Interpretation No. 2015-1, "The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act's 'Suffer or Permit' Standard in the Identification of Employees Who Are Misclassified as Independent Contractors".

This document is a sign of DOL's intent to vigorously pursue its interpretation of the FLSA, consistent with other governmental agencies, such as the EEOC, who are also ramping up their agendas.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

New DOL Guidance Says Most Workers Qualify as Employees

by Alison F. Smith, Esq.

The Department of Labor has recently issued a memorandum of guidance clarifying its interpretation of which workers qualify as independent contractors versus which ones qualify as employees. The guidance significantly broadens the manner in which the term "employee" is defined, and also lessens the significance of how much control is exerted over the worker, which was previously a central factor in classifying a worker as an independent contractor or employee.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Top 10 Reasons Why Employers Are Fined For Immigration Law Violations

by E. Audrey Glover-Dichter, Esq.

Employers can be fined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the following immigration law violations: 

  1. Employing workers who are not authorized to work in the USA.

  2. Not having I-9 Employment Verification Forms done for each employee.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Kentucky's Thoroughbred Industry and Workers' Compensation

by Marcus A. Roland, Esq.

On the first Saturday in May, the world turns its eyes to Louisville, KY, and the running of the Kentucky Derby. The majestic thoroughbreds and rich traditions of the horse industry embody Kentucky's standing as the center of the equine universe, but some might consider the proclamation a grand fiction if it knew the plight of jockeys and backside workers injured on the job in the Bluegrass State.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

That Contractor May Be Your Employee

by Kathleen Pohlid, Esq.

Employers tempted to outsource work to independent contractors in order to curb payroll costs should carefully consider the legal implications before doing so. Such arrangements are likely to violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as federal tax and state laws. Employers who violate the FLSA face liability for payment of back wages and overtime due, plus an equal amount as liquidated damages, and civil money penalties. Employers could also be held criminally liable and may face imprisonment for repeat offenses.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Independent Contractor or Employee [A California Perspective]: Misclassification Has Consequences

by Kenneth J. Rose, Esq.

For employers, classifying workers as independent contractors is a high stakes game. 

Employers need to recognize that it is not a smart business practice to improperly classify their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes, complying with employee protection legislation, and paying for employee benefits available to rest of workforce. Because potential liabilities and penalties are significant, it is important that each working relationship be thoroughly researched and analyzed before classifying an individual as an independent contractor and not an employee.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The FLSA and Independent Contractors

This post is an excerpt from FLSA/Wage and Hour Crackdown

by Michael Shultz, Esq.

Businesses frequently employ independent contractors to perform work for them. The law does not require an employer to pay minimum wage or overtime to persons who are independent contractors. For example, a software company might hire an independent company to perform janitorial services or lawn maintenance services. Sometimes these independent companies will be no more than a couple of people who have come together to form a small business for themselves. Sometimes, the purported independent contractor might be an individual.

Generally, no one will question whether an established lawn maintenance or janitorial services company is an independent contractor; but, when the independent contractor is one or a few individuals, the question of employee versus independent becomes a real problem.

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