Celebrate 10 years of Sunshine Week for open government March 15-21 2/10/15

The 10th annual Sunshine Week initiative will be held March 15-21. Special projects and events are already planned around the nation to mark a decade of open-government awareness. MORE

DOJ issues new guidelines on reporter subpoenas 1/20/15

The Justice Department has announced changes to its internal guidelines for issuing subpoenas and search warrants to journalists. Members of the news media had urged the Justice Department to revise the guidelines to offer greater protections for reporters and news organizations. MORE

Contracting practices to avoid 1/20/15

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
This column will review some practices that Mike Zinser has discovered at various newspapers while conducting independent contractor audits or preparing for litigation. These are practices that he recommends you avoid. MORE

Tulsa World seeks access to Oklahoma execution records 1/6/15

Tulsa World reporter and Enterprise Editor Ziva Branstetter and her newspaper have filed suit against the state of Oklahoma seeking access to witness interviews, state officials' email and other records regarding the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Litigation Director Katie Townsend and Oklahoma City attorney Robert D. Nelon of Hall Estill are representing the plaintiffs pro bono. MORE

NLRB continues to engage in mischief 1/5/15

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
In October 2014, I shared a disturbing development at the National Labor Relations Board concerning a new attack on independent contractor status and the reversal of the favorable precedent of St. Joseph News-Press. Today, I must report to you that the NLRB continues to engage in much mischief. In a recent decision, the Board reversed a case called The Register-Guard and ruled that employees have a statutory right to use the employer's e-mail system for union organizing purposes. Just a few days later, the NLRB made final its "quickie election" rule, constituting a broadside attack on the First Amendment rights of employers everywhere. MORE

More lowlights than highlights for press freedom in 2014 1/5/15

By the National Press Club's Press Freedom Committee
The year 2014 saw more regression than progress in the cause of press freedom and transparency, according to a year-end review by the National Press Club's Press Freedom Committee. MORE

The contracting process 11/24/14

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
In the litigation of whether a newspaper distributor is an employee or an independent contractor, the "contracting process" is often examined very closely. The reason for this examination is that the court or agency wants to be sure that both parties entered into the agreement with the intention to create an independent contractor relationship. What occurs during the contracting process can help evidence independent contractor status. MORE

Disturbing independent contractor development at the NLRB 10/14/14

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
In this month's Zinsergram, Mike Zinser notes that the NLRB has ruled that certain FedEx drivers in Connecticut were employees. In this case, he says the Board fundamentally shifts the independent contractor analysis, for policy-based reasons, to one of economic realities. MORE

A Labor Day message for management 9/9/14

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
Let us remember that Labor Day is not a day to honor and celebrate "unions." This a day to honor all working Americans. In this month's Zinsergram, Mike Zinser also takes a look at the "quickie election" rule and the NLRB. MORE

Ohio newspaper carrier is an independent contractor 8/18/14

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
The Ohio Industrial Commission, in a case involving the Akron Beacon Journal, has ruled that a newspaper carrier is an independent contractor for purposes of Workers' Compensation. In this month's Zinsergram, Mike Zinser also takes a look at a Wage and Hour issue, Workers' Compensation and the First Amendment rights of a blogger. MORE
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