Oh I Will Just Make Them Independent Contractors: Legal Reasons #33

2049877A recent client called and claimed that they would go the “Uber” route and classify all of their current employees as Independent Contractors as they no longer “wanted the hassle of overtime, lunch/rest breaks and payroll taxes.”  I listened politely as they continued to explain how so many companies they had heard of including call centers, delivery services and retailers now just used Independent Contractors instead of full-time employees, and saved hundreds of thousand dollars in labor expenses. I asked them a few simple questions.  Would the person control their time? An emphatic no.  Could they work from home? Maybe. Would they have to be in uniform. They sounded unsure.

Based on just those few answers, I told them that it was unlikely the employees could be classified as Independent Contractors. Moreover, while it sounded like an easy way to reduce costs, the costs and possible liability for a miss-classification by even one person could run into  those same hundreds of thousand dollars that my client wanted to save, making not only unwise, but potentially disastrous for their company.

It is always advisable to seek legal counsel for company wide changes especially those involving classifications, pay changes, and difficult terminations.

Brownness, Legal

I Don’t Have a Drinking Problem: Legal Reasons #33

dui_chartFar too many people appear to believe that they do not have issues with alcohol, and appear to think it normal to have “just a few” and drive. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, it amazes me people still think it OK to drive after two drinks in an hour. It may seem wise to save those few bucks, but you only need to get caught once, or worse, get into a car accident, to have your driver record be scarred for a long time to come. Not to mention thee cost of being in jail, bail, fines and the unsettling realization that all this could have been avoided. So don’t it. If you cannot seem to stop even at two drinks, even if you don’t drink daily, you may have a drinking problem.

Still, it pays to use common sense. In the unfortunate case, you are pulled over. NEVER admit you have been drinking or smoking, as that gives police officers probable cause to ask further questions, and inspect your vehicle. Refused to take the breathalyzer as they can be inaccurate and show a higher blood content level if you have recently had a drink. Request a blood test, which unfortunately, may mean a trip to the station, but also means your body has more time to metabolize the alcohol.