Employment Law News from Hunter, Smith & Davis

March 2019

Independent Contractor or Employee? Tennessee Considers Adoption of IRS Guidelines

The Tennessee General Assembly is considering legislation that would require the use of the 20-factor test in IRS Revenue Ruling 87-41 to determine whether an employer-employee relationship exists for purposes of the state’s wage and hour laws, OSHA matters, the Tennessee Employment Security Law, drug-free workplace issues, and the workers’ compensation statute. The corresponding bills are SB 0466 by Senator Kerry Roberts and HB 0539 by Representative Dan Howell.

Employee Time Spent on Wellness Activities Not Compensable

Time that an employee spends voluntarily participating in certain wellness activities, biometric screenings, and benefits fairs made available by an employer does not constitute compensable worktime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to U.S. Department of Labor ruling FLSA 2018-20.

The DOL notes that the FLSA, as a general matter, requires employers to compensate employees for work time. Regulations separately provide that an employee is not entitled to compensation for “off duty” time.

Pay Equity Issues Raise Questions

Issues of pay equity have generated a great deal of publicity in recent years, and will continue to do so. Steve Darden wrote on the topic “Unequal and Equal Pay – Past and Present” in the February 2019 issue of The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee / Virginia.

“Like many areas of the law,” Steve noted, “there is some black, there is some white, and there is a lot of gray area with pay equity and employers who are unsure should seek counsel. A couple of things are certain … many things that were once lawful in the workplace are no longer acceptable, and the Equal Pay Act has made a big difference in America’s workplaces.”

Click on the link to read the article “ Unequal and Equal Pay – Past and Present ” (see page 30 of the February Business Journal ).

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