Question: Is this a possible independent contractor 'game changer'? 7/20/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm
Question: On Wednesday, July 15, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an interpretative Guidance Memo on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Is this memo a game changer, or is this something that has been done frequently before under different names?

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Q&A about terminating a distribution agreement with an independent contractor 7/14/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm
Question: If an independent contractor newspaper carrier provides the publisher a 30-day advance written notice to terminate the distribution agreement, can the publisher re-contract the route and replace the contractor in less than 30 days without being financially responsible to pay the contractor for the full 30 days?

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Q&A about employee terminations 7/7/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm
Question: Is an employer required by law to communicate in writing to an employee the reason he/she was discharged?

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Q&A about criminal convictions 6/30/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm
Question: On an employer’s job application, may the employer ask whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime?

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Can employee who is requesting additional leave under the FMLA be terminated? 6/23/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by Hagood Tighe of Fisher & Phillips
Question: We have an employee who has exhausted his FMLA leave. He cannot return to work yet, but says that he should be able to return soon. He is requesting three more weeks of leave. Can we terminate him and hire a replacement since his FMLA is exhausted?

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Company e-mail address Q&A 6/15/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm
Question: An independent contractor salesperson has inquired whether it would be possible for him to get a company e-mail address to use when selling. He thinks it would give him more credibility. Is this something that we can do?

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TMC agreements, apps and independent contractors 5/27/15

The following Legal Hotline question was addressed by L. Michael Zinser of The Zinser Law Firm
Question: A TMC product is not a paid product. When a resident does not receive it, they are not likely to register a complaint. Advertisers in the TMC product want some level of comfort that the product is actually being delivered. We would like to negotiate with the TMC carriers an additional contract fee if the contractor will download an app on his/her smartphone that will confirm when he/she finishes delivering the TMC product. Does this do any harm to independent contractor status?

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Legal Hotline launched for SNPA members: (844) 804-2016 5/12/15

SNPA has launched a free Legal Hotline for members – (844) 804-2016 – to assist newspapers with a broad range of legal issues.

Hotline attorneys and CPAs will tackle questions about circulation, independent contractors, labor and employment law, taxes, finances and accounting, employment benefits, open records, libel and privacy, and other issues newspapers encounter.

The attorneys and CPAs who will take calls from SNPA member newspapers are the best in the business: The Bussian Law Firm PLLC, Fisher & Phillips, Way, Ray, Shelton & Co., P.C. and The Zinser Law Firm.

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