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Author: Peggy Emch

The ABC Test for Independent Contractors Is Not a Federal Rule

independent contractors abc test checklist

The California Supreme Court recently ruled on a change to the test that a hiring entity must use in order to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or not. It’s a much stricter and, as a result, clearer test than what existed before or which exists now with the Department of Labor. Worker classification is notoriously nebulous. Now in California, with the independent contractors ABC test, the definition is much easier to interpret.

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How to Handle Bad Reviews About Your Company

Hopes and dreams shattered by bad review

Bad reviews are always pretty horrifying for a small business owner or head of marketing when one hits their inbox. There’s this heart stopping feeling like your reputation is ruined and the business will cease to grow.

While bad reviews can indeed make your product or service look bad, these days, negative reviews are just a part of doing business. It’s best to keep calm and deal with them methodically, rather than freak out and make a rash rebuttal.

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DOL Opinion Letter On Travel Time Compensability

legal writing

The FLSA is a set of federal laws regarding minimum wage, overtime, and other important workplace practices. The rules aren’t always easy to understand, however, and sometimes they get misinterpreted by business owners and even by the courts. (As an example, the supreme court recently had to step in and give the final word on a type of overtime exemption.) This is why the Department of Labor has provided opinion letters to help clarify some of the more confusing scenarios.

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Supreme Court Ruling Rejects Narrow Construction in Overtime Exemption Cases

Interpreting overtime exmptions can be tricky. While the April 2nd, 2018, Supreme Court ruling may only apply to a very small segment of workers and probably only affects a single wage and hour lawsuit currently, this departure from the longstanding approach at interpreting overtime exemption will likely have broader implications and affect more workers in the future.

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DOL’s Wage & Hour Violation Self Reporting Program

Talking through a problem

On March 6, 2018 the Department of Labor launched a pilot program allowing employers to audit their own pay practices and catch and report their own wage and hour mistakes. It’s called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program and will operate for six months as a pilot program.

Prior to now, wage and hour mistakes would land employers in court where they would have to pay court and lawyer fees, back wages, and liquidated damages. With the PAID program, if mistakes are caught independently and in good faith, employers can avoid the extra costs and simply pay employees back for the mistakes made.

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Classifying the Gig Economy Worker

Woman thinking about the gig economy

The gig economy has sparked a lot of discussion surrounding employee rights. While there are no steadfast rules yet on the subject of gig contractors vs gig employees, the topic is maturing as this new employment landscape continues to develop.

In California recently, a federal judge ruled that Grubhub delivery drivers are indeed independent contractors. However, the case is far from closed. Not only does the plantiff’s lawyer plan to appeal the ruling but the California Supreme court is working on drafting a test for these workers. This should help settle the issue overall.

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Partial Unemployment Benefits for Hour and Pay Cuts

unemployment claim form on an office table

Most people probably aren’t even aware that a thing such as partial unemployment benefits even exists. Did you know that you can receive benefits even if you’re still working? In fact, unemployment insurance (UI) benefits aren’t so black and white – lose your job, get assistance. There are benefits available for employees who received hour cuts or pay decreases. As a business owner, you should know this.

If you need to calculate a pay cut, try our free pay cut calculator here.

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2018 State Minimum Wage Changes

State minimum wage increase table

Note: These rates should be used for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be used for legal or professional purposes. Please visit state websites before making changes to employees’ rates.

There are a lot of minimum wage changes this year in the nation’s states. The rates are to take effect on January 1st, 2018 but some, like New York, may take effect December 31st, 2017.

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5 Tips for Startups

On the road to a startup

If you’ve got a startup or you’re starting up a startup, you’ve already got a great product worth selling. You are probably working hard to promote it too. The basic to-do list is in the bag, but there are a lot of details that only experience and the wisdom of others can teach you. Here are some things I’ve learned from our CEO and other business owners about the challenges of running a small business.

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