Christopher Hampton| January 29, 2021
Christopher Hampton is counsel to Meltzer Lippe’s Labor & Employment and Social Media, Software & Privacy practice groups. Chris dedicates his practice to representing employers and management in variety of labor and employment matters. Chris concentrates his practice on employment discrimination litigation, wage and hour compliance and litigation, and other traditional labor and employment law matters.
Chris was asked to answer this question:
“It’s a New Year, with a New Administration and New Vaccines…What do you think the New Year holds for labor law as companies/entrepreneurs enter the new year (i.e., What should they be focusing on?)”
A paramount issue companies will face in 2021 is how to structure their work-force to remain economically viable during the Pandemic. This includes how to ensure provision of required benefits (including medical benefits/leave) to their employees. The outgoing Administration’s Department of Labor revised guidance for classifying workers as independent contractors, effectively easing such a burden on companies. This is because, unlike employees, independent contractors generally are not subject to employment obligations such as being provided COVID-19 leave. However, this revised guidance may ultimately be revoked/revised, given the incoming Administration’s more “employee-friendly” prerogatives. Further, companies also risk improper independent-contractor-classification regardless, as the advent of telecommuting, variable hours, and working from home has blurred the lines of exactly who may be considered an employee, as opposed to a consultant/contractor.