Defining

Defining ‘Contractor’ Status Would Provide Some Relief for Workers

A new rule proposed by the Department of Labor could bring partial relief to businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout. It could also help millions of workers who are straining to maintain their livelihoods or attempting to find new ones.

For the first time in more than 80 years since the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a new proposed rule seeks to provide clarity on the definition of an “independent contractor” for general industry.

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This is important because it can be difficult for businesses to differentiate between employers and contractors, and extremely costly if they make the wrong determination.

As Labor Department Secretary Eugene Scalia noted, “Employers and workers looking for guidance have had to parse the sometimes-divergent decisions of the federal courts of appeals, and opinion letters the Labor Department issues occasionally without public notice or input.”

Ambiguity about how to classify workers can result in high administrative costs and cause fear and uncertainty for employers who risk costly lawsuits that could destroy their entire business if they make the wrong determination.

Fines and penalties for misclassifying workers can include back payroll tax payments, over 40% of the misclassified workers’ wages for up to three years, and, if the misclassification is determined to be intentional, up to $500,000 in fines and a year in prison.

It’s not just a difference in payments that separates employees from contractors. Employers could be on the hook for many other violations, such as: not properly documenting a worker’s hours, neglecting to

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Defining home with interior design consultant Anjel Herman. | Step Inside

“I wanted us to come home to simplicity and peace, a place that is both elegant and timeless,” she says.

For a couple who loves to entertain and socialize, living in a small, gated community of close-knit neighbors, the kitchen naturally became a focal point of a phased remodel that includes a Step Inside first: a baby grand piano in the kitchen for anyone whose appetite includes a little Elton John with their wine.

“It is the epicenter of every party,” Herman says. “No matter how many guests attend our soirees, they all seem to hover around that island.”

With that in mind, the design consultant removed the much smaller two-tiered island and its large built-in awning and replaced it with the simple but ample, front-and-center serving island you see today.

“The kitchen is light and airy now,” Herman says. “I love the beautiful quartzite countertops and backsplash.”

For social gatherings of a more intimate nature, she designed a dining room in white that expresses every texture, every shape, and every mood. Inspired by Europe and a hotel bar ceiling that wowed her, Herman cross-pollinated design elements with the room’s drapery panels and mimicked them in the applied moldings of the architecturally inspired ceiling design. That ceiling design then found further artistic expression in the pastel-colored cut glass diamonds that hang on ribbons of silk from the chandelier. The overall effect catches the shimmering light of the setting sun in a room that makes you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.

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Frameless Shower Doors or Framed? Defining Your Style

Frameless shower doors are an elegant and timeless addition to any bathroom’s décor. On the other hand, traditional framed enclosures also bring style and value to your home. Which should you choose?

One of the biggest bathroom design struggles for many homeowners is choosing the most fitting style for their space. After all, shower enclosures aren’t just for keeping water contained; they also impact the overall style of the room. Selecting the right style for your bathroom will take some careful thought about the look you want to achieve. The following considerations may help you in the decision-making process.

Framed Glass Shower Doors

Framed glass doors are the most common type of shower enclosure, having been around much longer than the frameless style. These doors have metal frames that provide structural support and strength to the glass panels.

While the framed enclosures from years ago had limited style options, today’s framed doors are available in more than a dozen different metal finishes, including brushed chrome, polished brass, antique nickel and oil-rubbed bronze. The glass can be customized as well, with homeowners having the choice of several tinted, patterned, etched and frosted options. Framed glass doors can reflect your sense of style and can be just as elegant as frameless enclosures.

Frameless Shower Doors

The all-glass look of frameless doors is appealing to many homeowners for its high-end design look and feel. These doors use heavy-duty glass and minimal hardware to provide an open feel to the bathroom, allowing the other design elements to take center stage. For homeowners who have made the effort to create a beautifully tiled shower, frameless doors can be the best choice to show off their design.

Like framed doors, frameless styles can incorporate frosted or etched areas for privacy and to complement the rest of …

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