FedEx was just one company to be caught in an employee misclassification misstep (image via Wikimedia Commons)

FedEx was just one company to be caught in an employee misclassification misstep (image via Wikimedia Commons)

Attorneys who represent corporations are likely to be monitoring the increased federal enforcement of employee misclassification. The result of that enforcement has been much higher fines than we have seen in the past.

This past spring, I heard and then interviewed Dr. David Weil, the Wage and Hour Administrator at the U.S. Department of Labor. He spoke in Phoenix on multiple topics, including such misclassification. It arises more and more, he said, as companies seek to lessen the high costs associated with direct employees. But if every jot and tittle of a worker’s day is circumscribed, defined, and monitored by the corporate parent, can they really be described as independent contractors?

My previous story is here. It includes the full (unedited) audio of my interview with Dr. Weil.

Just so you know that his prognostications are bearing fruit, here are some recent instances of increased focus and occasional prosecution.

One involved FedEx and a $228 million fine.

The other involved the State of California and its focus on Uber.

Labor and employment lawyers, what are you seeing in Arizona? Has the heightened focus been a matter of concern among your clients? Have you been alerting them more regularly about this area of law?

I’d welcome your story or commentary on the topic. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Dr. David Weil, Director of the Wage & Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, speaks at the University of Arizona Medical School, Phoenix, April 1, 2015. (Photo courtesy of the DOL Wage and Hour Division.)

Dr. David Weil, Director of the Wage & Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, speaks at the University of Arizona Medical School, Phoenix, April 1, 2015. (Photo courtesy of the DOL Wage and Hour Division.)

Advertisements