DOL Withdraws Trump Administration Changes to Independent Contractors and Joint Employers

This month, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed the withdrawal of two regulations, one concerning Independent Contractors and the other concerning Joint Employers. These Rules are not going forward, and employers should stay tuned for the Biden Administration’s own proposed regulations.

Independent Contractor Classification Rule

In September 2020, the previous administration published new worker classification regulations, which aimed to simplify the employee versus independent contractor analysis for employers. The Biden Administration froze the implementation of that regulation in January, and now has proposed to withdraw this regulation. Employers can expect that this regulation is not going further.

On a related note, the DOL rescinded Opinion Letter FLSA2019-6, which addressed the same regulation now being withdrawn by the DOL, independent contractor status under the FLSA.

Joint Employer Rule

In 2019, the previous administration published new joint employer regulations, which implemented a clear four-factor balancing test that focused on the degree of control a prospective joint employer exerted over a worker. This rule was partially vacated by a U.S. District Court in September 2020, and now the Biden Administration has proposed to rescind the rule.

As with the independent contractor rule above, the DOL has only proposed to withdraw these regulations. The Biden Administration is expected to draft their own proposed regulations to pursue in lieu of those now rescinded.

Stay tuned… The Employment and Labor Law attorneys at Shulman Rogers will continue to keep employers updated regarding these two regulations, as well as any other changes to the federal employment law landscape as they occur.

Meredith S. Campbell
Chair Employment and Labor Group
Co-Chair Corporate Investigations, Governance
 & Risk Management

Email [email protected] T(301)255-0550