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SACA Newsletter - August 2015

DOL "Misclassification Guidance" continued

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance on how to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The misclassification guidance says most workers qualify as “employees” under the FLSA's expansive definitions.   To view the full document, please click here.  

The DOL has provided six factors to consider when determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.   To view, please click here.

Law360 Quotes Michael Katzen in "Attorneys React to DOL Misclassification Guidance “ - July 16, 2015 - “One of the more striking aspects of the interpretation seems to be the way in which it systematically attacks arguments frequently made by employers when defending independent contractor classifications,” Michael S. Katzen, an attorney in Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor Practice Group, told Law360. “For example, the interpretation indicates that a worker’s ability to work as much or as little as he/she chooses does not necessarily weigh in favor of independent contractor status.”

Mike was part of a group of attorneys who offered analysis on the U.S. Department of Labor’s just-issued guidance on how workers are classified — as either employees or independent contractors — under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The guidance, which suggests most workers qualify as employees under the FLSA, could be problematic for employers defending independent contractor designation, Mike said. “The interpretation essentially reads like a preemptive strike against potential employer defenses to be used in future misclassification actions before the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.”   

In this same article, attorney Annette Idalski provides more perspective - “The DOL, and in particular, its wage and hour investigators, are not always correct in their analysis of independent contractor status, as we saw in the district court decision in Gate Guard Services v. Thomas Perez and by the Fifth Circuit’s affirmation earlier this month,” said Idalski. “While employers should be mindful of the DOL’s guidance, companies should be prepared to challenge the agency and to take an offensive approach to investigations. We have learned over the last five years that while the DOL’s primary initiative is to crack down on misclassifications, it has not properly trained investigators to correctly conduct those investigations, gather relevant facts and properly analyze the findings.”

Alinen continued 

Alinen began his law enforcement career with the Huachuca City Police Department in 1975. He held positions of Patrolman, Detective, and Chief of Police, before being recruited as an officer by the Sierra Vista Police Department in 1978. Alinen went on to serve as Patrolman, Detective, Senior Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Deputy Chief. Having served at all levels and in all aspects of the organization, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position of Chief of Police. 

Prior to his law enforcement career, Alinen served in the United States Army as a non-commissioned officer, completing a tour of duty in Vietnam, and specializing in the fields of communications and intelligence. He was awarded numerous medals, including the Bronze Star Medal and the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry for his service in Vietnam. 

Alinen is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Southwest Command College, the IACP Leadership in Police Organizations Training Course, and the West Point Leadership Program for Police Executives. He studied information systems at Western International University, where he earned his Bachelor's (cum laude) and Master's degrees in Information Systems. He is an adjunct faculty member for Wayland Baptist University, teaching computer science classes. Alinen is active in the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, and he has served on its Board of Directors since 2005. Alinen is also active in Rotary International, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, and other community service contributions. 

Among his many accomplishments, he has been instrumental in developing, designing, and implementing Public Safety Computer Aided Dispatch, Criminal Record, Enhanced 911, and Analog Radio Systems, as well as expanding technology in other areas of the Department. He works daily with public relationships, personnel management and leadership, crisis management, schedule development and management, as well as constantly serving as a representative of the Sierra Vista Police Department to the public. Chief Alinen enjoys strong, productive working relationships with all public safety partner agencies in the area and is held in high regard. 

Alinen has resided in Arizona since 1972 and he lives in Huachuca City with his wife, Mary, of 40 years. Together they have a son, TJ.  Alinen enjoys caring for his horses and spending time in the Arizona mountains. 

Contractor in Heaven continued

A contractor dies on a fishing accident on his 40th birthday and finds himself greeted at the Pearly Gates by a brass band.

Saint Peter runs over, shakes his hand and says “Congratulations!”

“Congratulations for what?” asks the contractor

“Congratulations for what?” says Saint Peter. “We are celebrating the fact that you lived to be 160 years old.”

“But that’s not true,” says the consultant. “I only lived to be forty.”

“That’s impossible,” says Saint Peter, “we added up your time sheets!”

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