Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: independent contractor

Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rule Never to See Light of Day

Remember the Trump administration’s new rule for classifying workers as independent contractors?  The one issued on January 6, 2021, only weeks before President Biden took office?  The one that would have revised the U.S. Department of Labor’s test for determining worker status under the Fair Labor Standards Act to focus on two “core factors” (control … Continue Reading

Business Groups Challenge Biden Administration’s Delay of Trump-era Independent Contractor Rule

In a complaint filed on March 26, 2021, business groups challenged a U.S. Department of Labor March 4, 2021 final rule to delay the effective date of the Trump-era regulation on independent contractor classification.  As we previously reported, that Trump-era rule, which was finalized two weeks before President Biden took office, was initially scheduled to … Continue Reading

DOL Begins Withdrawal of Trump-Era Opinion Letters

As expected, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced the withdrawal of three opinion letters issued in the waning days of the Trump administration.  The opinion letters being withdrawn are: FLSA2021-4, which addressed whether a restaurant may institute a tip pool under the Fair Labor Standards Act that includes both servers, … Continue Reading

White House “Regulatory Freeze” Memo Dooms DOL Independent Contractor Rule

As expected, the White House issued a memorandum to the heads of all executive departments and agencies within the first few hours after President Biden’s inauguration on January 20, requesting that they halt all non-emergency rulemaking and regulatory activity pending review by the new administration. The memo asks the executive agencies, which include the U.S. … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: DOL’s Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Allan Bloom discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed new rule on independent contractor classification.  In recent years, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors has been the subject of a number of private lawsuits and investigations by government agencies.  This is true for traditional industries and … Continue Reading

Hearing Scheduled On Proposed Amendments to Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

On June 11, 2020, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) will hold a virtual public hearing on its recent proposed amendments to the final regulations pertaining to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (“PFML”) issued in June 2019.  (Instructions for registering for the virtual hearing are available at this link).  A … Continue Reading

New York City Extends Human Rights Law Protections and Training Requirements to Freelancers and Independent Contractors

NYC Commission on Human RightsEffective January 11, 2020, the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) has been amended to expand protections under the law to freelancers and independent contractors.  Significantly, this includes the requirement that certain contractors now complete annual sexual harassment prevention training in the same manner as covered employees.  Contractors also are now eligible for reasonable … Continue Reading

District of Massachusetts Grants Class Certification but denies Summary Judgment in Independent Contractor Misclassification Case

On September 13, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted certification of a class of independent contractor drivers who delivered packages through Dynamex Operations East for Google Express.  Ouadani v. Dynamex Operations East LLC, No. 16-12036, 2019 WL 4384061 (D. Mass. Sept. 13, 2019).  Ouadani, a delivery driver, sued Dynamex on … Continue Reading

DOL Validates Independent Contractor Relationships in the On-Demand Marketplace

In an opinion letter issued April 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division concluded that a “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) that connects service providers with consumers is not the employer of the service providers.  The opinion should be a welcome one not only for VMCs and businesses in the “gig economy,” … Continue Reading

Moonlighting Police Officers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says Sixth Circuit

In yet another legal development calling into question a traditional independent contractor relationship in the U.S., the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined that off-duty police officers were employees of a private security company for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In Acosta v. Off Duty Police Services, Inc. (6th Cir. Feb. … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments in California Law

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Tony Oncidi and senior counsel Harris Mufson discuss key developments in California employment law, including a new test to determine whether workers are independent contractors or employees and what’s new on the #MeToo front. Listen to the podcast.  … Continue Reading

SCOTUS:  Employers Can Compel Individual Arbitration of Wage and Hour Claims

  In its eagerly-awaited opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the U.S. Supreme Court held on May 21 that class action waivers in arbitration agreements between employers and employees do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.  The opinion resolves a split among federal circuits, and reiterates—once again—the strong federal policy favoring arbitration. While … Continue Reading

California Changes Rules on Independent Contractors

As reported by my colleagues in Proskauer’s California Employment Law Update, the Supreme Court of California established new rules on April 30, 2018 for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee for purposes of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders.  The Wage Orders set forth California’s requirements for minimum wage, … Continue Reading

New Rules Implementing the NYC Freelance Isn’t Free Act To Become Effective on July 24, 2017

As we previously reported, in November 2016, NYC Mayor De Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, establishing protections for freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract for work valued at $800 or more, the right to be paid timely and in full, and the right to be free from … Continue Reading

DOL Withdraws Obama-Era Administrator’s Interpretations on Independent Contractors and Joint Employment

Employers across the U.S. were troubled by the sub-regulatory guidance issued by the DOL in 2015 and 2016 on independent contractors and joint employment.  Today, the DOL announced the withdrawal of that guidance (Administrator’s Interpretations No. 2015-01 (July 15, 2015, on independent contractors) and No. 2016-01 (Jan. 20, 2016, on joint employment)). As you may … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only provides services to one business or entity.  In so doing, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Unemployment Insurance Board finding … Continue Reading

Appellate Division Rules That Paid Blogger Was Not An “Employee” Entitled To Unemployment Benefits, Signaling Trend Toward More Searching Judicial Review of Agency Decisions

One of the recurring themes in workplace law in 2016 was the continued crackdown on independent contractor misclassification.  Both federal and state agencies, as well as the plaintiffs’ bar, invested significant resources to challenge employers in the “gig economy”—as well as in more traditional businesses—that rely heavily on contractors, freelancers, and other third-party service providers. … Continue Reading

Yoga Instructors Can Be Independent Contractors, Says NY Court of Appeals

Earlier this week, the New York State Court of Appeals in Yoga Vida NYC, Inc. v. Commissioner of Labor., No. 130 (N.Y. Oct. 25, 2016), issued a rare decision concerning an unemployment determination, reversing the Appellate Division and concluding that the employer yoga studio did not exercise sufficient control over certain of its instructors to create … Continue Reading

Mayor Signs Into Law NYC Bill Protecting Freelance Workers, Effective May 15, 2017

On November 16, 2016, NYC Mayor De Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, a local law (No. 1017-2015) establishing protections for freelance workers. The law, amending Title 10 of the N.Y.C. Administrative Code, establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers, including the right to receive a written contract, the right to be … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Partners With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

On September 13, 2016, Oklahoma became the 35th state to enter into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  Oklahoma represents just the latest in a flurry of new participants in the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, which was launched in 2010 … Continue Reading

North Carolina and Nebraska Join 32 Other States In Agreeing To Partner With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

Just last month we reported that Pennsylvania had entered into a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”), agreeing to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  Now two more states have joined the U.S. DOL in this effort. In the past week, North Carolina and Nebraska … Continue Reading

New Arizona Independent Contractor Law Now In Effect

Arizona’s “Declaration of Independent Business Status” law went into effect earlier this month. The new law, which appears to be the first of its kind, aims to provide independent contractors and the businesses that engage them greater certainty with respect to their employment status. Under the new law, independent contractors may sign a Declaration of Independent … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

The U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the  Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification.  The agreement is part of the U.S. DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, the stated goal of which is to “combat employee misclassification and to ensure … Continue Reading
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