The ever-changing landscape of non-compete law continues to give rise to significant developments that companies need to be aware of. Recently, several new state laws have been adopted to limit non-compete agreements’ enforceability, thus, further complicating matters for employers. At the federal level, the Freedom to Compete Act has been introduced in the Senate to prohibit non-compete pacts for minimum wage earners. Moreover, with a pandemic in the backdrop, many other issues have also emerged.
Over the past years, employee arbitration agreements have been helpful in preventing employment-related lawsuits. If properly executed, arbitration clauses provide several benefits to both employers and employees. These benefits include the resolution of claims away from the public, the ability to select the arbitrator, and the faster process by which conflicts are resolved. Arbitration of claims is also significant in redirecting employment-related cases from overburdened courts.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are continuously taking initiatives to improve each agency’s law enforcement, specifically against employee misclassification. Guided by their standards, the DOL and the NLRB aggressively enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) respectively to expand the scope of classifying joint employers while narrowing the scope of categorizing independent contractors.
The flexible work arrangement has become a norm in the post-pandemic time, presenting hurdles among company decision-makers when it comes to employee classification. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can pose legal risks to employers including liability claims related to employment taxes, interest, and penalties.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact workplace situations in the U.S., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released guidance to clarify employers’ growing concern on the application of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other EEOC laws.