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Informed Employer: Independent Contractor Misclassification – The Next Big Thing Informed Employer: Independent Contractor Misclassification – The Next Big Thing

Informed Employer: Independent Contractor Misclassification – The Next Big Thing

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SEC Approves Requiring Companies to Reveal CEO, Worker Pay Ratios
The Securities and Exchange Commission narrowly approved a new rule requiring publicly traded U.S firms to disclose the gap between CEOs' annual compensation and the median compensation of other employees. Handing a defeat to business opponents of the change, the 3-2 vote by the SEC's five commissioners capped a multi-year battle over the so-called "pay ratio" disclosure required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act enacted after the national financial crisis.
(Source: USA Today, 2015-08-05) Read the full article
Lawsuits Not Sole Reason On-Demand Cos Moving Away From Contractors
Many of the on-demand companies who have recently re-classified their independent contractors as employees -- or who began doing business by only hiring so-called W2 employees -- say blaming legal reasons is just a sideshow. Some say the real reason companies are switching is that it just makes them a better business.
(Source: Business Insider, 2015-08-04) Read the full article
Court Rules Nonprofits Must Allow Workers' Contraception Access
Another federal appeals court ruled against Catholic church-affiliated groups that oppose being required to provide contraceptive care to employees through a third party. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Brooklyn judge's ruling affecting over 25,000 employees at two high schools, six hospitals, three nursing homes and several nonprofits.
(Source: AOL News, 2015-08-07) Read the full article
DOL to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed 401(k) Adviser Rule
The Department of Labor will hold a public hearing on a proposed rule it says will shield millions of Americans from conflicts of interest on the part of advisers who guide them in saving for retirement. The proposed rule would require that any financial adviser being compensated for giving advice on investments in 401(k)s and IRAs put their clients' best interest before their own.
(Source: USA Today, 2015-08-07) Read the full article
OSHA Proposes Lowering Limit of Workplace Beryllium Exposure
After decades of delay, federal workplace regulators proposed a sharply lower limit for exposure to beryllium, a widely used industrial mineral that is linked to a deadly lung disease. The new standard, proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, would lower the allowable exposure limit to beryllium to one-tenth the current level.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-08-05) Read the full article
73% of Employers Oppose More H-1B Visas, Citing Domestic Skills Gap
There is some support among employers to increase the cap on H-1B visas, allowing more foreign workers to be temporarily employed in the U.S., yet the majority remains opposed to issuing more of the visas. Twenty-seven percent of employers support raising the cap on H-1B visas, with more than half of these employers expressing concerns over a widening talent gap; however, the majority of employers -- 73 percent -- oppose issuing more H-1B visas, citing the need to focus on training American-born workers instead of importing workers from other countries.
(Source:, 2015-08-06) Read the full article
Employers Use Creative Benefits to Lure, Retain Workers
Netflix's decision to give its workers up to a year of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a baby is the latest example of the unusual benefits that companies have been dangling as they try to attract and retain people with highly coveted skills. Nothing appeals to workers quite like a lucrative paycheck, but benefits and perquisites become more important to people once they already are earning a lot of money and realize that a large chunk of any additional raise will be devoured by taxes, says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist for employer rating service
(Source: ABC News, 2015-08-05) Read the full article
Women Suffer as Cooler Office Temps Aim to Keep Men Comfortable
Scientists (two men, for the record) are urging an end to the Great Arctic Office Conspiracy. Their study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, says that most office buildings set temperatures based on a decades-old formula that uses the metabolic rates of men.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-08-03) Read the full article
Independent Contractor Misclassification – The Next Big Thing
Pete Wade

For the last few years, the “big thing” in employment litigation has been the misclassification of non-exempt employees as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As we discussed in a prior article, the U.S. Department of Labor recently has put employers on notice that they will be aggressively looking at misclassification of individuals as independent contractors. The U.S. DOL has taken the position that under the Fair Labor Standards Act the definition of employee is broad and more individuals should be classed as employees.

To read more, click here.



Two Upcoming Indiana Human Resources Updates

Ice Miller partners David Carr, Jenifer Brown and Chris Sears will be speaking at the Indiana Chamber’s Human Resources Update August 13-14 in South Bend.

Another Indiana Chamber Human Resources Update will be held in French Lick on September 10-11, where partners David Carr, Jenifer Brown and Tara Schulstad Sciscoe will present.


It’s 10 AM, Do You Know Where Your Employees Are?

USCIS Issues Guidance on Filing an Amended H-1B Petition Due to a Change in Worksite, and Offers Safe Harbor Filing Window

While not quite as critical as keeping track of your children at curfew, consider this your Public Service Announcement on the importance of tracking the whereabouts of your sponsored foreign national employees. At times, Human Resources professionals are the last to know of material changes to employees’ job responsibilities and even location of employment, but H-1B visa sponsorship is employer, job and location specific, and failure to keep track of your employees may jeopardize their immigration status and your employer obligations under the H-1B sponsorship rules.

To read more, click here.


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