DOL Independent Contractor Guidance Around The Corner

US Department of Labor sealFrom Law 360, Ben James reports that the United States Department of Labor is about to provide guidance on how to properly classify a worker as an employee or independent contractor.  Ben writes:

“The U.S. Department of Labor is poised to release guidance addressing what criteria must be met for an employer to properly classify a worker as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, the head of the DOL’s wage and hour division said Friday.

WHD administrator Dr. David Weil, who spoke Friday at the New York University School of Law, said that he would be putting out an “administrator interpretation” shortly that aims to clarify who qualifies as an independent contractor.

“I’ll be issuing an administrator interpretation specifically about our view of what is a legitimate independent contractor,” he told those in attendance at a labor and employment law conference.

The upcoming administrator interpretation will go through “a very clear set of criteria,” Weil went on to say, adding that courts have said that evaluating an employment relationship “requires a careful consideration of the economic realities and multiple aspects of the relationship.”

“We play up how we’re thinking about that,” said Weil. “We emphasize that it’s not a mechanical process, but it’s a holistic process of assessment.”

After his address, Weil declined to give a specific time frame for the issuance of the guidance but did say that the target was “early summer.”…”

Read the full story at DOL Independent Contractor Guidance Around The Corner

While it is great that the DOL will be offering guidance to properly classify a worker as an employee or independent contractor, the DOL is not the only government regulatory agency that reviews worker classification.  The DOL approach may vary from the IRS’s approach, or from a state’s unemployment regulatory agency or a state’s workers compensation statue.  Until there is a consistent approach by all government regulatory bodies, companies will continue to bear unnecessary burdens relating to the making and documenting the proper classification of a worker as an employee or independent contractor.

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