Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thought Provoking Law Quote: Theodore Roosevelt

The LSCB today introduces a new recurring feature. Though Provoking Law Quotes will hopefully provide an opportunity to spice up your PPT lecture slides or syllabi or suggest a discussion starter for your class.  I encourage readers to send me your favorite thought provoking quotes and I will be happy to share them for you on the LSC blog.

"Industry, therefore, must submit to such public regulation as will make it a means of life and health and not of death or inefficiency. We must protect the crushable elements at the base of our present industrial structure"
  - Theodore Roosevelt speech on Social and Industrial Justice, 1912

Hear Roosevelt in his own words advocate for a living wage and condemn courts that block social progress. The quote above comes up around the 2:05 mark.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FedEx Ground Drivers: Employees or Independent Contractors?

Companies that want a reliable workforce but don't want the expense and regulation inherent in an employer-employee relationship have been tuning in greater numbers to independent contractors. However, the status of a worker as an employee or independent contractor is not determined by the label slapped on the relationship by the employer or even the employer's chosen methods of compensation. The status is determined by how the parties actually interact.  The greater the degree of control maintained by the hiring party of the methods and manner of the work performance, the more likely that the worker will be deemed by law to be an employee.  This can be problematic for employers who want the payroll and regulatory flexibility of an independent contractor relationship but who also want to control the details of how and when the work is performed.

These issues should be front and center in the public view over the next couple of years as multiple lawsuits against FedEx Ground proceed through the system.  Former workers are suing for overtime pay and employer payroll contributions that were not made for many years.

See related posts here and here.

Legal advice from the Zellmer Law Group:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lawyers Get Paid? I Thought They Were There to Help People!

According to Yahoo Sports, a Florida State football player is being sued by his lawyer for an unpaid fee. The player hired a lawyer to represent him in  disciplinary proceedings brought by the University, agreeing to pay a $2,500 fee.  The disciplinary proceeding resulted in a penalty of probation - but no suspension from either school or the team. But the lawyer's fee remains unpaid.

We don't have this problem at UConn.  Students are not allowed to be represented by counsel in disciplinary hearings.  Can anyone say "due process violation?"

This is how our students see the world: Meet Ken.  Ken is in a pickle.  He has a DUI arrest.  But Ken can rest assured that he has found the best lawyer to represent him.  And since this lawyer's ad says nothing about fees, he must be representing Ken for free!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Social Norms And Conduct

Social norms, like law, help to control conduct. Some people fear social ostracization perhaps even more than legal punishment. It is this fear that causes people to act within regularly acceptable social bounds of conduct.  Of course, one may be more interested in acting according to the social norms of a rogue group whose own norms of conduct may challenge the law.

In the video below, the guy chooses an unorthodox way to try to activate his key card - and pays the social price.

Friday, October 17, 2014

16 Tons

Folks in tuxedos snap their fingers to the plight of the working man.

Thursday, October 16, 2014