I wanted to start this New Year by highlighting new legislation in California that affects litigation or business. As always, some new laws are quintessentially Californian, like one that dress codes cannot discriminate against transgendered and cross-dressers. I’ll make sure to put that in my employee handbook. I also was happy to see that it is no longer legal to carry a loaded unconcealed handgun, making one of those laws that I really cannot believe was legal through 2011.
However, one of the most interesting and controversial laws taking effect in 2012 involves greatly increased penalties for the willful misclassification of employees as independent contractors. I litigated quite a few class actions and individual cases involving these issues as a plaintiff attorney, and now I’m viewing the issue as a business owner who uses both employees and contract workers. Since most everyone in the litigation graphics field works with independent contractors, and a large number of law firms do as well, I want to focus on some key issues raised by the new law. (more…)