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Indiana Law Now Allows Paycheck Deductions for Uniform Rentals

Under an amendment to the state’s wage deduction statute, employers in Indiana may now deduct from an employee’s paycheck the rental cost of uniform shirts, pants, and other job-related clothing. The amendment, Senate Bill 99, was signed by Governor Eric Holcomb on May 1, 2019, and went into effect immediately. Michael Padgett, a Principal in the Indianapolis office of Jackson Lewis, testified before the Senate on behalf of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in support of the amendment.

No Subpoena, No Protection?: Indiana Court of Appeals Approves Dismissal of Employee Who Left Work to Voluntarily Testify at Hearing

It is well settled that Indiana is an employment-at-will state, meaning an employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship for any lawful reason. The Indiana Supreme Court, however, recognizes a limited number of exceptions to employment-at-will. For example, an employer may not discharge an employee for complying with a subpoena to provide testimony in a judicial or administrative hearing. Indiana courts have held that terminating an employee under these circumstances violates the state’s public policy. But does this exception apply when an employee voluntarily testifies in an administrative proceeding rather than being compelled to do so by subpoena or judicial order?

Indiana Court Declines to Expand At-Will Employment Exception

Reaffirming Indiana’s “strong” presumption of at-will employment, the Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to expand the public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine to include an employee’s mistaken belief that he was subpoenaed to testify at an unemployment hearing. Perkins v. Memorial Hosp. of South Bend, No. 18A-CT-1340 (Ind. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2019).

Indiana Supreme Court: Driver for Large Vehicle Transportation Matching Service Properly Classified as Independent Contractor

Resolving split decisions among Indiana Court of Appeals panels, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled on January 23, 2019, that a transportation matching service properly classified a driver as an independent contractor. Q.D.-A, Inc. v. Indiana Department of Workforce Development. In so holding, the court provided potentially valuable insight into Indiana’s ABC test that may prove helpful to employers with independent contractor drivers.

Indiana Supreme Court Rules Driver Not Employee of Business Connecting Drivers with Customers

A driver who delivers recreational vehicles or trucks under a company’s authority is an independent contractor, not an employee, for purposes of the Indiana Unemployment Compensation Act, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled. Q.D.-A, Inc. v. Indiana Dep’t of Workforce Dev., No. 19S-EX-43 (Jan. 23, 2019).

Seventh Circuit Finds Five-Year Sale-of-Business Noncompete Agreement Valid

In E.T. Products, LLC v. D.E. Miller Holdings, Inc., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that noncompete agreements signed by sellers of a business were enforceable under Indiana law, but the sellers did not violate the agreements. In doing so, the court provided valuable considerations for drafting valid noncompete agreements in the context of a sale of business.

Employers Beware: Indiana Supreme Court Expands the Scope of the “Duty of Care” Owed to a Subcontractor’s Employees

In light of a recent decision from the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana employers—and construction companies in particular—should review their contracts and subcontracts to determine if they have unwittingly assumed a duty of care for other entities’ employees. In Ryan v. TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractors, Inc. et al., the Court ruled that a general contractor’s “form contract” with its client caused it to assume a duty of care to keep a worksite safe for a sub-subcontractor’s employee—even though the general contractor’s subcontract placed the onus of securing employee safety on the subcontractor. — N.E.3d —, 2017 WL 148885 (Ind. Apr. 26, 2017). As a result of this ruling, a general contractor can potentially be liable to a subcontractor’s employee who suffers a workplace injury.

Indiana Legislature Bans “Ban the Box” Ordinances

Some cities and counties across the country have enacted local ordinances restricting the ability of employers to inquire into the criminal histories of applicants during various stages of the job application process. (These ordinances are commonly known as “ban the box” legislation.) However, the Indiana General Assembly recently passed a bill that prohibits local governments from adopting such ordinances in Indiana. Senate Bill 312 prohibits political subdivisions (including counties, municipalities, and townships) from enacting ordinances that interfere with an employer’s ability to obtain or use criminal history information during the hiring process to the extent allowed by state or federal law.

Indianapolis Office Newsletter – First Quarter 2017

Under a constructive discharge theory, an employee’s limitation period to file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission begins upon the constructive discharge, not before, the United States Supreme Court has ruled, giving clarity to timing considerations of constructive discharge claims. Green v. Brennan, 136 S. Ct. 1769 (2016).

Indiana Court of Appeals Rules on Irreparable Harm, Laches, Extension Clauses, and More in Recent Restrictive Covenant Case

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently issued a restrictive covenant ruling addressing several significant issues. On November 30, 2016, in Hannum Wagle & Cline Engineering, Inc. v. American Consulting, Inc., the Indiana Court of Appeals elaborated on a number of important issues in restrictive covenant cases: