Gender Pay Gap Effort Going Global

Gender pay equity is now a worldwide issue, and a priority for many lawmakers as efforts to close the pay gap are launching across the globe.

CANADA: Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn leads a gender wage gap working group to address workplace inequities faced by women. Canadian data shows that women in Ontario are earning 14 to 26 percent less than men. Issues to be addressed include the gender wage gap as well as daycare issues and workplace harassment.

ICELAND: Iceland introducing legislation to make it the first country to require employers to prove that male and female works are paid equally. Iceland has had pay equity laws for about 50 years, and this new legislation will mandate employers to assess every job, and identify as well as correct all gender wage gaps that are over five (5) percent. Government data shows a current wage gap of 14 to 20 percent, and it aims to remedy within five (5) years.

NEW ZEALAND: A newly introduced bill would require all New Zealand employers to record gender and pay equity data. Employers would have to provide that information to the government for publication, and employees would be entitled to receive such data for all workers that perform the same type of job.

SINGAPORE: New Singapore stock exchange disclosures reveal a sizeable gender pay gap. A Singapore study showed female directors earning 56.8 percent, on average, less than their male counterparts. Listed companies now must calculate pay differences at the board level based on gender.

U.K.: New U.K. regulations are planned to hit employers in April. Private sector U.K. employers will have to publish information about gender pay disparities, with at least 250 employees. This includes differences between mean and median hourly rates as well as bonus payments.

If You Are Considering Hiring Independent Contractors . . .

The IRS is clear that there is no magic test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. This determination is fact specific, and made on a case-by-case basis. With today's stricter employment laws, it is important that businesses make a careful evaluation before classifying someone as an independent contract.

That being said, let's talk about how the factors that the IRS usually considers. The general consideration is whether the worker as the right to control not only the work outcome but how the worker generally performs the work. The IRS' common law rules cover three main categories of behavioral control, financial control, and type of relationship. And the IRS and Labor Department looks at the totality of the situation.

In real world terms, the best documentation shows that the worker has a bona fide business separate from yours. Other paper documentation can show that the worker fully controls his/her own work, the worker is free to make a profit or loss, the work he/she provides is not an integral part of what your business provides, and/or the worker is free to be hired by others.

Additionally, businesses can further protect themselves by keeping a vendor file for each worker, once classified as independent contractor. The following are some items to include:

  • A written contract
  • Proof of a real and separate business
  • Invoices
  • Form W-9

A couple scenarios that may raise red flags include re-hiring a former employer in an independent contractor capacity, using interns in the capacity of employees (stay tuned for a specific blog post on interns in the workplace), providing office supplies and equipment to your employees, and/or the worker is on a long-term rather than project basis.

Please ensure to check your individual state's requirements, as an independent contractor in one state may not be so in another state. And certain industry specific job classifications have specific court determinative rulings or guidance. This is a great area to practice acting in an abundance of caution as back-wages and penalties can be very costly.

Stay tuned for future blog posts from Pucher Law, Small Batch Legal.


Tips For Hiring Your First Employee . . .

If you are hiring your first employee, big congrats! Things to think about when prepping to hire your first employee include filing documents with and paying taxes to a variety of government agencies. I am a strong supporter of growing your business legally and responsibly.

At the outset, there are generally 15 legal action items for new employers to execute. Many businesses have individual requirements to ensure compliance. And requirements vary in different states. I keep the following checklist as a starting point for the new employer, and this usually applies to most businesses and industry-wide.

  • Obtain an employer identification number.
  • Register with your state's labor department.
  • Set up payroll to withhold taxes.
  • Report each new employee to your state's new hire reporting agency.
  • Post required notices.
  • File IRS Form 940 (yearly).
  • Adopt OSHA compliance workplace safety measures.
  • Create a custom employee handbook with your company's policies.
  • Create personnel files that include job-related documents.
  • Set up any employee benefits that you are planning to establish and offer.
  • Have each employee fill out IRS Form W-4, Withholding Allowing Certificate.
  • Apply for worker's compensation insurance.
  • Provide copies of various company policies (including employee handbook), and obtain signed verifications from your new employee.
  • Fill out Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for each new employee.
  • Check your specific state specific requirements.

Please keep in mind that there are different considerations involved in hiring Independent Contractors.

Stay tuned for more posts from Pucher Law, Small Batch Legal.

Photo by: Kristen Booth,




Lovely to Meet You. . .

Morning from Pucher Law! 

A quick introduction from me, Jennifer Pucher, owner and founder of Pucher Law. After 15 years of practicing law, I finally launched my own firm. I wanted to create an approachable law practice for small and growing businesses. As my practice evolves, I understand more than ever the needs of individuals and business owners.

A little bit about who I am and what I love. As an LA native, I love everything about SoCal. On a rare day off, you can find me at the beach, the hiking trail or planning my next ski trip to Mammoth. My 2017 personal goal is to get back on my surfboard and get in a morning surf session on a weekly basis again. I am outdoor gal at heart, and I love to finish a great day off with a great meal with friends and family. I am a mom of two, and love taking them along on all my adventures. I am so excited to get to know you and your business.

Stay tuned for weekly information and legal tools for running your business as well as the latest updates in our work. There are big plans to showcase tips for hiring and managing employees as well as remaining legally compliant.

Photo by Kristen Booth,