Richard Reibstein is the publisher of this legal blog, which has been, since its inception in 2010, the only legal blog in the country dedicated exclusively to publishing original content on the subject of independent contractor compliance and misclassification. The blog addresses current legal issues involving compliance with federal and state labor, tax, benefits, and other laws impacting the use of independent contractors, and the defense of misclassification claims and class actions as well as audits, investigations, and administrative proceedings by federal and state agencies dealing with wages, taxes, unemployment, and workers compensation. The publisher offers informational and educational “takeaways” for businesses to enhance their independent contractor compliance and minimize misclassification liability arising from their use of independent contractors as part of their business model or to supplement their workforce.
The publisher has presented more than two dozen public seminars, webinars, and presentations since 2008 and has written more than 55 articles on independent contractor compliance and misclassification published in leading legal and business publications. The publisher has posted on this legal blog more than 300 comprehensive blog posts on court cases, legislation, regulatory initiatives, and newsworthy matters involving independent contractor compliance and misclassification. The publisher’s articles and blog posts are regularly re-posted, re-published, and cited in scholarly articles, studies, and industry publications. The publisher was named “Top Author” by JD Supra in the area of “Employer Liability” and “Class Actions” for thought leadership in 2016-2017 and 2019-2022.
The publisher has been quoted on over 100 occasions, every year since 2010, in national, regional, and local print and online media on the subject, including the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Business Insider, Forbes, Fusion, Public Integrity, and numerous Bloomberg, BNA, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, and Law 360 publications as well as other leading business and legal media sources on the subject of misclassification of independent contractors.
The publisher’s insights expressed in blog posts are based on his extensive and varied experience in this niche area of the law. He has represented over 120 clients in an array of diverse industries across the country, including in the gig economy, using various business, independent contractor, customer, and franchise models. The publisher has represented Fortune 500 companies as well as mid-size and small businesses around the country concerned about the risks of independent contractor misclassification liability and/or committed to achieving a higher state of compliance with independent contractor laws, including compliance with California’s AB5 / AB2257 laws.
Insights, commentary, and “takeaways” in blog posts are based on the publisher’s experience in restructuring and re-documenting independent contractor relationships to enhance compliance with applicable independent contractor laws; defending national, regional, and local companies before federal and state administrative agencies and the courts including single plaintiff and class action independent contractor misclassification claims; and providing due diligence as to the independent contractor misclassification exposure of companies that are the subjects of mergers, acquisitions, and investments. You can view a list of representative engagements in this niche area of the law by the publisher and co-chairs of Locke Lord’s independent contractor misclassification and compliance practice.
In the area of independent contractor and wage/hour compliance, the publisher has designed programs for more than 60 companies across the country to enhance compliance with independent contractor laws at the federal and state levels, using IC Diagnostics™, a proprietary process developed and refined over the past 12 years.
In the area of independent contractor misclassification, the publisher defends businesses across the country before administrative agencies in unemployment and other regulatory proceedings and before the courts in single plaintiff and class action employee misclassification lawsuits and claims seeking overtime, unpaid benefits, unpaid expenses and other types of wage payments.
His most recent class action and multiple plaintiff cases have involved an independent contractor misclassification claim by on-demand couriers under California law, a claim for unpaid hours by over 4,000 New York live-in home health aides, an overtime claim in a Florida federal court seeking collective certification of 800 route sales persons located in the Southeast and Gulf Coast, a collective and class action misclassification claim involving over 1,800 local childcare consultants providing services to an au pair agency, a class action claim against a company that engages insurance adjustors to handle claims by policyholders of insurance companies, and lawsuits by multiple plaintiffs that distribute food products of a nationwide baked goods company (where the distributors agreed to arbitrate their claims after the company made a motion to compel arbitration).
The publisher has also defended four large IRS worker classification audits, with assessments or exposure ranging from the low seven figures to over $20 million. In each audit, the IRS conceded (in one case, only after an appeal had been lodged) that the workers in question were properly classified as independent contractors or that the company was otherwise entitled to Section 530 “safe-harbor” relief.
The publisher is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School. After two years of government service with the U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board, the publisher began his career in the private practice of law.
From March 1999 to April 2009, the published was a partner at the law firm of Wolf Block LLP. From April 2009 until June 30, 2017, the publisher was a partner with the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP.
Since July 1, 2017, the publisher has been a partner with the law firm of Locke Lord LLP, an AmLaw 100 firm with 600 lawyers in 20 offices across the U.S. and Europe. The publisher created and co-heads Locke Lord’s Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance practice, an interdisciplinary group of 20 labor and employment, employee benefits, tax, and class action lawyers.
The Managing Editor
Janet Barsky is a Senior Counsel in Locke Lord’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, resident in the New York office. As a member of the firm’s Independent Contractor Compliance Practice Group, she dedicates her practice to independent contractor compliance counseling and litigation.
Since July 2011, Ms. Barsky has been enhancing the independent contractor compliance of scores of companies, both large and small, by restructuring, re-documenting, and re-implementing their relationships with independent contractors.
Ms. Barsky also has defended businesses in administrative and regulatory proceedings, audits, and investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor, the IRS, and workforce agencies in states across the country, and is a vital member of the firm’s litigation team defending independent contractor class and collective action lawsuits and mulitiple plaintiff litigations and arbitrations.
In her role as managing editor of this blog, Ms. Barsky contributes to each of the posts and compiles the monthly news updates for this blog, monitoring IC misclassification and compliance court cases, regulatory actions, and legislation throughout the U.S.