Three recent Massachusetts cases expand employee rights under the antidiscrimination laws. Each case impacts a diverse aspect of the state’s antidiscrimination law, including the issue of attorney-client privilege applying to an internal investigation, claims of associational discrimination, and remedies for civil harassment.
For more information, please read our December Employment Law Advisor.
Government efforts to combat the independent contractor misclassification continue as a new U.S. Senate bill was recently introduced by Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. The “Payroll Fraud Prevention Act” would amend the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to “accurately classify” workers as either employees or non-employees, and to provide each worker with a written notice informing the worker “of the classification of such individual … as an employee or a non-employee.” The Act also would require the notice to include a statement directing the worker to a U.S. Department of Labor website providing further information about employee rights.
Under the Act, if an employer failed to provide the required notice to a worker the individual would be presumed to be an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor. The Act also would contain anti-retaliation protections for workers and would amend the Social Security Act to provide for audits of employers who are believed to be misclassifying workers for purposes of avoiding unemployment taxes or benefits.
Please contact our Employment Law Group if you have questions regarding this topic.