Employment and Labor Law

Engagement of “gig-economy” workers has been a hot topic, particularly in the case of food delivery businesses. The Fair Work Commission recently concluded that a delivery rider for Foodora was in fact an employee, rather than an independent contractor.

Piper Alderman Senior Associate, Emily Haar, reviews the decision.

German-based food delivery app, Foodora, has been the subject of extensive media coverage recently, facing challenges to its staffing model on a number of fronts, prior to its voluntary administration in 2018.

While the Fair Work Ombudsman’s sham contracting case was dropped, one outspoken delivery rider’s unfair dismissal claim was allowed to continue, with judgment handed down in November 2018.

Read more: Engagement of “gig-economy” workers - The curious case of the calculating courier

With the advent of cost-effective GPS devices and smartphone tracking apps, employers may effectively monitor their workforce like never before. An employee’s distance traveled, sales routes, and productivity (among other things) can now be verified in real time, which is a seductive thought to most employers, to say the least. But there are things to consider before using tracking technologies to monitor employees, such as constitutional rights of privacy, state criminal statutes, union and labor issues, and good old-fashioned tort claims. In this article, we’ll review some legal considerations and provide some tips for navigating the evolving legal landscape of GPS tracking.

Read more: GPS Monitoring Of Employees In California: Do You Know Where Your Employees Are? Are You Allowed...

Authors: Robert Boonin, Abad Lopez & Arlene Steinfield

The much awaited revised new regulations governing who qualifies for the FLSA white collar exemption has finally been revealed by the Department of Labor. It did so on March 8 by publishing an NPRM (“Notice of Proposed Rule Making”). In December of 2016, a Texas federal court entered a nationwide injunction halting the implementation of new regulations which would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempting most white collar employees from overtime. Since then, the White House changed occupants and the Department has been deliberating on how to respond to the injunction. After considering responses to information requests from stakeholders on possible directions to take, and a round of “listening sessions” held across the country, the Department has finally spoken.

Read more: DOL Finally Proposes New White Collar Exemption Regulations

Authors: David Ey & Gemma Twemlow

The Fair Work Commission’s recent decision of Bajada v Trend Windows and Doors Pty Limited [2018] FWC 5937 takes on whether smoking at work can constitute a valid reason for dismissing an employee in Australia.  David Ey, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate, discuss what this means for employers.  

Whether employers like it or not, a significant number of the workforce today smoke. The smoke break continues to remain a controversial topic amongst employees who do not smoke given they miss out on additional breaks and the lost productivity and expense it causes employers and businesses.  

Read more: "Smoko" Break, Going Up in Smoke: Can Smoking at Work Constitute a Valid Reason for Dismissing an...

Author: Tim Lange

A recent amendment to the Fair Work Regulations 2009 has raised some interest among employers and employees.

Partner, Tim Lange, and lawyer, John Evans look at what the regulation is really worth and where employers should be looking for the next important development.

In the 2018 WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131 judgment (the Skene decision) the Federal Court opened the door to employees who receive a casual loading under an award or enterprise agreement in lieu of permanent employment benefits also being entitled to accrue those permanent employment benefits under the National Employment Standards (NES), if their casual employment has sufficient indicia of ongoing permanent employment.

Read more: New casual offset loading regulation to prevent ‘double-dipping’ – is it all bark, no bite?