Employers May be Liable to Reimburse Employees for Their Use of Their Personal Cell Phones or Other Electronic Devices

By Mark C. O'Connor on August 27, 2015

Employees use cell phones, laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices for both business and pleasure. Are employers liable to reimburse the employee for their business use of their personal cell phone, laptop or other devices? A California Court of Appeals has held that employers must reimburse a reasonable portion of the employee’s cell phone bill if the employee must use their personal cell phone for work-related calls even if the employee has an unlimited data plan for which they do not actually incur any additional expense.

Read the full article >

Employee or Independent Contractor?

By Frank N. Gaeta on July 22, 2015

Addressing an issue that continues to bedevil many employers, the Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently issued further guidance on whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On July 15, 2015, the Administrator issued an “Interpretation” of the FLSA’s standard for determining how to categorize a worker. Ultimately, the Administrator stated, a worker who is “in business for him or herself” is an independent contractor, while a worker who is “economically dependent” on the employer is an employee.

Read the full article >

POSTED IN: Real Estate

Uncertainty Remains Regarding Realtor Affiliations in Spite of SJC Decision

By Atakelti Desta on July 22, 2015

All states require that both real estate salespersons and real estate brokers be licensed by the state. While both perform many of the same duties, brokers are generally expected to complete more real estate education and have a more comprehensive familiarity with the laws affecting the sale of property. Massachusetts law requires that a salesperson be “engaged by a licensed broker” and “not conduct his own real estate business.” In spite of this requirement, brokers usually hire salespersons as independent contractors rather than traditional employees for general tax purposes.

Read the full article >

Employer Can Be Held Liable for Employee Intentionally Failing to Report Overtime under FLSA

By Mark C. O'Connor on June 17, 2015

An employee's intentional violation of the company timekeeping policies may not be a defense to a Fair Labor Standards Act claim if the employer knows or has reason to know that an employee underreported his hours according to a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Bailey v. TitleMax of Georgia, Inc.

Read the full article >

Massachusetts AG Announces Six-Month Safe Harbor For New Sick Leave Law

By Frank N. Gaeta on May 28, 2015

Attorney General Maura Healey has announced a six-month deferral of the requirement to comply with the new Massachusetts sick leave law for employers with certain paid time off policies in effect as of May 1, 2015.

Read the full article >