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Littler represents some of the largest national and regional staffing firms, Professional Employer Organizations, employee leasing companies, and the large consumers of such services. We also litigate and consult on some of the most meaningful class-action independent contractor misclassification lawsuits and disputes all around the country. Regardless of whether the dispute involves tens of millions of dollars or tens of thousands, Littler’s Staffing and Contingent Workers Practice Group has the team you need. Even with new legal developments and compliance risks, such as the ACA and increasingly strict state laws, the flexible (versus traditional) component of the total workforce continues to grow rapidly.
Nonetheless, U.S. laws impacting the proper classifications of workers, and whether multiple entities should jointly be held responsible for compliance with worker rights are complex and wide-spread. Importantly, the consumers and providers of staffing and contingent worker services often assume radically different levels of legal risk depending on the nature of the contractual relationships, the degree of quality control and operational responsibility exercised, and the location of where the services are provided.
Every major federal and state labor and employment law has distinct and unique methods for determining whether a joint employment or co-employment relationship exists. In general, courts will strive to find joint responsibility for compliance with worker rights and related tax and pay practice obligations. Similarly, many state legislatures are enacting new laws directly regulating the obligations and rights in these relationships in an effort to capture identified lost revenue streams. The consequence is a plethora of federal and state regulation, with often similar but rarely identical rules and obligations. This is particularly challenging for multi-state employers, PEO's and staffing companies.
Littler’s Staffing, Independent Contractors and Contingent Workers Practice Group has extensive legal experience in every facet of these relationships. In addition to litigating joint employer status and alleged contractor misclassification in virtually every court and administrative, arbitral, or tax venue, Littler provides legal consultation and legal implementation of the initial work-force design, including legal risk assessments of business staffing options, drafting and revising associated contracts, and preparing model contractor and master service agreements. Littler can provide legal exposure assessments and audits of existing staffing and contingent worker relationships prior to the receipt of an audit or lawsuit. Most recently, consulting and litigation efforts have focused on ACA compliance, OSHA’s temporary worker initiative, the NLRB’s attempt to broaden the definition of employer to include franchisors and clients of staffing firms and assisting with class actions and audits alleging worker misclassification under state laws.
Littler has deep bench strength nationally representing both consumers and providers of staffing services or other contingent workers. Regardless of whether the legal issues involve: the ACA, tax assessments, unpaid wages or overtime, bargaining relationship obligations, benefit plans, worker safety, equal employment violations, FMLA, ADA, WARN or any other employment issue – we have the experience to defend cases, help address client questions, and offer practical advice regarding the contingent workforce.