Employee or Independent Contractor? New DOL Guidance Now on Hold

When are workers “employees” and not “independent contractors”? Three key points apply here. First, no bright-line rule necessarily exists; rather, facts and circumstances are always important. Second, the answer may depend on context – payroll tax, overtime and minimum wage laws, workers’ compensation coverage, etc. Third, careful evaluation may be warranted, depending on specific worker situations per these variables. This legal area just got a little more complicated, with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) January 2021 final rule now placed on hold by the new Biden Presidential Administration.

Employment-Related Religious Rights and Responsibilities: EEOC

How do religion and the workplace fit together? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for handling employment-related religious discrimination claims, just updated its Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination to extensively address this question in terms of both employers’ and employees’ legal rights. Among other things, the Manual defines religion itself, addresses important employment exemptions, and explains key concepts like harassment and required “reasonable accommodation.” The Manual also works through employees’ religious rights in the workplace, such as taking religious holidays, wearing religious garb, displaying religious symbols and literature, and sharing religious views with others.

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