Richard Reibstein, co-head of Locke Lord’s Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance Practice, was quoted by Law360 on the applications of rules determining employee status to the 21st Century gig economy, cautioning new businesses to utilize proactive compliance methods. Reibstein notes businesses that open up in a legal space where definitions are not crystal clear should take care upfront with how they structure and document their independent contractor relationships.
"[The] key is, while unconventional, there are laws impacting non-employment business models that have to be followed," Reibstein said. "If not, employment laws may govern and companies should be well aware of these laws and how to comply before they get too far along with their new businesses."
Developing a new business should include paying attention to how the model will or won't be covered by workplace laws, Reibstein said. Proactive compliance can help avoid legal headaches later, he added. "Otherwise, they have to reevaluate the structure, documentation, and implementation of these businesses," he said. "While that can happen after the fact, it is best to do before a plaintiffs' class action law firm or a government regulatory agency knocks on their door and serves a summons or investigatory notice."
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