Virgin Islands Law Blog

Virgin Islands Law Blog

U.S. Virgin Islands law & politics

Category Archives: Labor & Employment

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How to Determine if a Worker is an Independent Contractor or Employee

Posted in Labor & Employment
As a business owner, you may have to decide whether to hire independent contractors or regular employees for various positions. Both practices have their advantages and disadvantages, and are subject to very different rules when it comes to taxes. Although you do not usually have to withhold or pay any partial taxes for independent contractors … Continue Reading

Bill in U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature Could Hurt Local Employers

Posted in Government Relations, Labor & Employment
A proposed bill before the Legislature of the Virgin Islands has the potential to hurt employers and business owners throughout the Territory and inhibit expansion of small businesses. Bill No. 30-0349, known as the Virgin Islands Healthy Workplace Act of 2014, aims to address issues like bullying, abuse and harassment at work — which the … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Ruling Impacts Successor-Employer Liability for FSLA Violations

Posted in Labor & Employment
On April 3, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals set an important precedent regarding successor-employee liability for the U.S. Fair Standards Labor Act (FSLA). For the first time, the court determined that a successor-employer — one that has acquired an existing business and chooses to continue its operations in the same manner as the previous … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Says Company’s Handling of Disability Claim OK

Posted in Labor & Employment
Ralph Van Deventer worked for Johnson & Johnson (Johnson) as a Compliance Analyst until he became disabled from multiple weaknesses in his skeletal structure and tenosynovitis of the left ankle. Van Deventer was enrolled in Johnson’s Long Term Disability Income Plan for Choice Eligible Employees (the “Plan”), which had two different, time-sensitive definitions of “disabled.” … Continue Reading

U.S. Third Circuit Holds Firing Alcoholic Employee for Relapse Not ADA Violation

Posted in Labor & Employment
The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a freight transportation company did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other antidiscrimination laws when it terminated an alcoholic employee who violated a Return to Work (RWA) agreement. In Ostrowski v. Con-way Freight, the RWA violation occurred when the employee suffered a relapse … Continue Reading

Court Recognizes Constructive Discharge Employment Claim for First Time under VI Wrongful Discharge Act

Posted in Labor & Employment
Judge Susan D. Wigenton of the District Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Thomas and St. John recently entertained the motion of the defendant Marriott Hotel Management Company (Virgin Islands) (“MHMC”) and Marriott Hotel Services’ (“MHS”) to dismiss the complaint of Plaintiff Judy-Ann James Frederick concerning numerous employment violations, including wrongful discharge… Continue Reading

Arbitration Clause Doesn’t Trip Up VI Employment Contract

Posted in Labor & Employment
Kwame Allen applied for employment in 2002 with Wyatt V.I., a company that performed various services at the HOVENSA refinery on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.  As part of his employment application, Allen signed a contract that contained a dispute resolution provision which stated that any controversy would be settled by arbitration in accordance with … Continue Reading

White House Continues Roll-out of Obamacare with Final Rules on Employment-based Wellness Programs

Posted in Labor & Employment
This past month the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued final rules on employment-based wellness programs. These final rules bolster the promotion of workplace health to decrease chronic illness, improve health, and limit increase the expenses of health care.  The rules will also ensure that individuals are guarded against … Continue Reading

Recess Appointment to NLRB Run Afoul of Constitutional Guidelines

Posted in Labor & Employment
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided that the recess appointments made by President Obama for openings on the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional. The President appointed Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn, and Richard F. Griffin on January 4, 2012 pursuant to the authority granted to him by the Recess Appointments Clause of the … Continue Reading