The Zipper (Why You Should Hire a Lawyer)

  • February 24, 2016

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I found myself contorted into a pretzel trying to zip up a maddening zipper on the back of my dress. Why on earth would anyone put a zipper on the back of a dress? Pure conjecture, but I was guessing

Are you tired of struggling?

Are you tired of struggling?

that this asinine design is left over from the days when women had ladies in waiting, always at the ready to help them button or tie up a piece of clothing.

(Sure enough – a quick search on the internet confirmed my suspicion: “In earlier centuries, buttons found on the back of a dress as opposed to the front were originally intended to give the appearance of wealth in a woman, as wearing such a garment implied the woman could afford servants to help her dress.”)

This got me to thinking about what I am sure is every clients’ frustration with going to a lawyer.  Why should it be necessary to hire a really expensive lawyer to handle something that they should be able to zip up themselves?

Well, much like the zipper on my dress, the legal system has evolved out of complex structures, relationships and systems. Just because our lawyers don’t wear those silly wigswhite wigs anymore doesn’t mean that the legacy of hundreds of years of operating within a complex legal systems has made it any more user friendly. Lawyers are educated and trained to navigate that complex system. Much the same way that doctors are educated and trained to navigate the complex systems of the human body.

There are some things that I encourage my clients to handle on their own (and spend the money they would spend on me buying a dress that zips up the side). These are things like trying to work out a dispute before it escalates, or discussing and outlining the terms of the deal they would like to see come to fruition. And then there are some things that I advise that my clients do ask for help on.

As an attorney I think it is important, and my duty, to be honest with my clients about what I think they can handle on their own and where I think they may need assistance navigating a complex legal structure. I love having that conversation with my clients. It gives me an opportunity to hear what their goals are and how they want to get there. Feeling empowered to make things happen in your business and personal life is energizing, but if someone is struggling with the darn back zipper, I gladly offer a helping hand.

 

Do you hire employees or independent contractors? The answer is probably both.

  • February 1, 2016
Employee-vs.-Independent-Contractor

Do you hire an employees or independent contractors?

Employers routinely consider a number of factors in whether to hire an employee or an independent contractor as their business grows. It is important for businesses to be able to explain why the “independent contractor” the company just hired is actually an “employee” under the law or vice versa. SB 224, recently passed by the Nevada legislature and signed by Governor Sandoval went into effect on June 2, 2015. This law provides much more clear guidance on what qualifies for “independent contractor” status and what doesn’t. SB 224 creates a conclusive presumption that an individual is an independent contractor for Nevada wage and hour claims if certain conditions are met.

This is yet another list of “factors” that business owners and their respective counsel must become familiar. Of potentially greater importance will be determining which law will apply and when. There is a different test in determining the employment classification of a person in each of the follow circumstances: (1) wage and hour claims under Nevada law; (2) wage and hour claims under federal law; (3) workers compensation claims; (4) and unemployment claims. It is entirely possible that under the wage and hour law in Nevada an individual could be considered an independent contractor, but if terminated, the individual could file for unemployment and be classified as an employee.

While some of the factors in each test overlap, using all the factors in each test will, in many cases, result in different classifications for the same individual.  It is now more important than ever to consult your legal counsel to protect your business so that you can properly structure job descriptions for your employees and/or independent contractors to benefit your business as well as plan for the changes in classification that may occur in the event of injury (worker’s compensation claims) or termination (unemployment claims).

If you need more information or have any questions regarding how the new law may affect your business, do not hesitate to contact Incline Law Group, LLP for some clarity on the subject.