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Adams and Reese Partner and Construction Team Co-Leader Trent Cotney had his article, “Subcontractors No More? NLRB Reverts to Stricter Employee Classification Rules” published in RoofersCoffeeShop.

“If you use subcontractors, a recent ruling from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could significantly impact your operations. This ruling will allow more workers to organize and join unions, and it will force employers to classify more workers as employees,” writes Cotney.  

In The Atlanta Opera, Inc., the NLRB considered a petition filed by wig artists, hairstylists and makeup artists who work for the Atlanta Opera. These workers requested union representation, but the Atlanta Opera asserted that they were independent contractors and thus did not have the right. Union protections are available only to those with employee status. 

After hearing the arguments, the NLRB voted against the Atlanta Opera. In a reversal from the 2019 standard, it ruled that the makeup and hair stylists are employees, and under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), they have union rights. 

A Partner in the Adams and Reese Tampa office, Cotney is a board-certified construction lawyer licensed in eight states and Washington, D.C. In construction litigation and arbitration, he represents construction and infrastructure clients, including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, roofers, developers, and other professionals. He is an EU arbitrator for construction-related disputes. 

Cotney focuses his practice on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration, including OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, bid protests, and construction document review and drafting.