Hurry Up & Wait; It'll Change - Worker Status Updates



Is it really any wonder that employers sometimes can't get the answer right?  How can we when the answer to the same question either changes from the same agency, depending upon which political party is in power or varies depending upon the source being asked.  

In 2007 I had the honor and privilege of testifying before a joint US Congressional subcommittee hearing on worker classification. Not the FLSA type of classification, exempt v. non-exempt but with regard to worker status: employee versus independent contractor.  Here are just a few updates (if you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn you may have already read about some of these):

  • June 27th - the US Department of Labor announced that it will again issue Opinion Letters.  The prior administration stopped issuing these letters several years ago. I find they provided great guidance for employers. 
  • June 27th - the DOL also announced that it will be publishing a Request for Information (RFI) on the DOL's overtime rule (the one that did not go into effect December 1, 2016).
  • June 7th - the current Administration announced that it was withdrawing the Administrator's Interpretation (AI) letter issued by the previous Secretary of Labor regarding Independent Contractor as well as Joint Employer Status.  This is good news for employers.  The prior AI established more restrictive definitions for employers for employers. 

Stay Tuned! More changes are on the way. 

1.        The debates and legal challenges will likely continue. Remember the story back in March that while a judge ruled in favor of Lyft regarding their classification of drivers as independent contractors the company still paid $27 Million to settle the matter! 

2.        June 30th - on a related note the Department of Justice filed on behalf of the DOL filed an appeal challenging a judge's determination that the agency did not have the authority to establish the "minimum salary" threshold for classifying an employee as exempt.

Originally published on Five L Company blog.



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