July 2017 Archives

Breaking Anonymity on the Internet

In ZL Technologies, Inc v. Does, issued July 19, 2017, the California Court of Appeal in San Francisco explained the test for deciding when a plaintiff's need to identify the human beings behind internet usernames outweighs those users' First Amendment right to remain anonymous. The U.S. and California Supreme Courts have not addressed this issue, yet.

Employee versus Independent Contractor

Businesses are examining the option of treating the people who do the work for them as independent contractors and not employees. Independent contractors can be denied most of the protections the law provides to employees. These include, but are not limited to, withholding taxes, employer's share of Social Security contributions and State Disability Insurance premiums, overtime compensation, overtime premiums, breaks, reimbursement of expenses for business use of employees' vehicles or other tools and equipment, vacation pay, sick pay, and health benefits. Some businesses also feel less inhibited about terminating, reducing compensation and reducing hours of independent contractors than of employees, even with respect to at-will employees.