Summer in the Ocean State brings with it familiar novelties: the beach, clam cakes, and the end of the General Assembly’s legislative session. In this Insight, we summarize three employment-related bills that Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee signed into law late last month, note bills that garnered attention but ultimately did not pass, and explain what employers should do now to remain in compliance.
On July 13, 2022, the Massachusetts Appeals Court signaled a victory for Massachusetts employers who rely upon independent contractors. In Tiger Home Inspection, Inc. v. Dir. of the Dep’t of Unemployment, the Appeals Court reversed decisions from the Department of Unemployment (“DUA”) and trial court, concluding that the inspectors were independent contractors under Massachusetts’s Unemployment Insurance statute (“Unemployment Law”) and, thus, ineligible for unemployment benefits. Focusing on Prongs A and C of the Unemployment Law’s “ABC” test for classifying independent contractors, the Appeals Court provided employers with excellent precedent and concrete guidance for navigating those elements of the test. Notably, the Unemployment Law’s ABC language largely tracks the Massachusetts Wage Act’s “ABC” test, with Prongs A and C using identical language. As a result, Tiger Home Inspection arguably provides employers with much-needed clarity for navigating both statutes.
On May 16, I co-hosted a small roundtable discussion here at the firm entitled “Employee Misclassification Issues in the Financial Services Industry: Preventive Maintenance and Proactive Strategies.” The topics included proper application of the administrative exemption from federal and state overtime laws; the nettlesome employee v. independent contractor question; and contingent workforce issues. In attendance was a healthy mix of in-house employment counsel, human resources professionals, management consultants and outside counsel. ...
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