Are the New DOL Rules Regarding Independent Contractors DOA?

On January 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule (Rule) to be applied in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is scheduled to take effect on March 8, 2021. Although the majority of the 1800 comments the DOL received on the proposed Rule were supportive of the Rule’s efforts to provide clarity to the stakeholders regarding how to distinguish between employees and independent contractors, there is a consensus that the new standards will result in more workers being classified as independent contractors than under prior rules. Based on public statements by the Biden administration, the new administration appears to view classification of a greater number of workers as independent contractors as an undesirable outcome, and as such, the Rule may well be suspended before it ever goes into effect. More.