Employment Law

Oxford Lawyer Offering Guidance on Workplace Rights and Regulations

The relationship between employer and employee is important, both for the well-being of a company and for those who make it run. These roles are closely regulated and may sometimes lead to conflict if not managed properly. Even entities that follow all the rules may face issues in this area because of its complexity. Skilled employment law attorney Robert P. Williams lends his business and legal knowledge to help Jackson employers and employees maintain a productive working relationship. He works to identify and manage litigation risks, as well as, to ensure that workers’ rights are fairly protected.

Mr. Williams assists companies and individuals in all industries. He has worked extensively with employment staffing companies and has developed a distinct experience in business relating to home health agencies operating in Mississippi and Tennessee.

Rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets federal standards for employment conditions. Mississippi does not have its own separate wage and overtime laws, so it follows the national rules regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and hours worked. Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to $7.25 per hour under the federal minimum wage, absent any local city or county law setting it at a higher rate. Covered, non-exempt workers are also entitled to overtime pay of time-and-a-half for any hours worked above 40 hours per workweek. Mississippi law also does not provide for any required meal or rest breaks, but workers must be paid for any work done during a break period. Employees who are not receiving the proper compensation may file wage and hour claims against their employers to recover damages that they may be due.

Employee Classification

Depending on an individual’s job duties, certain workers may be classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Many businesses will opt to classify individuals as independent contractors to avoid some administrative costs and a high employee headcount, as well as employment taxes and the costs of mandated workers’ compensation insurance.

However, an organization that misclassifies its workers may be subject to substantial liability, both from lawsuits by employees and governmental administrative or agency enforcement actions. In determining whether a person is properly classified as an employee or an independent contractor, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the courts have set out an “economic reality” test, which considers multiple factors in determining the accurate classification. Under this standard, the DOL looks at:

  • The degree of control an employer has over an individual;
  • An individual’s opportunity to gain or lose money;
  • The degree of an individual’s investment in a business’ facilities and equipment;
  • The length and permanency of the business’ and individual’s relationship;
  • The degree of skill required to perform the work; and
  • Whether or not the work performed by the individual is a major part of the employer’s business.

Correctly classifying workers is vital to an enterprise’s productivity and longevity, as well as keeping it out of legal difficulties. This analysis should be done in consideration of state and federal income tax law and worker’s compensation laws, as well as employment discrimination and immigration law. A knowledgeable attorney can be vital in helping employers enact policies that reduce their exposure to adverse consequences.

Seek Advice from an Employment Law Attorney in Oxford

Businesses and their employees should be able to rely on fair and logical employment practices in order to enjoy success in the workplace. Skilled employment law lawyer Robert P. Williams offers guidance to clients in all areas of Mississippi and Tennessee, such as Nashville and Memphis. He is dedicated to helping employers and employees establish working relationships that are productive for both sides. Contact our office at (662) 234-3838 or fill out our online form to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.