Friday, June 16, 2017

DOL Withdraws Administrative Interpretations on Worker Classification and Joint Employer Status

On June 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew two administrative interpretations issued during the Obama administration. The withdrawal of these administrative interpretations are effective immediately.

The DOL withdrew a 2015 interpretation concerning the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The DOL also withdrew a 2016 interpretation on when two employers will be determined joint employers under the FLSA and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). This 2016 interpretation was intended to prevent employers from using intermediaries as a shield for liability under these two acts.

The DOL, however, emphasized that: "Removal of the administrator interpretations does not change the legal responsibilities of employers under the FLSA and MSPA, as reflected in the department's long-standing regulations and case law." The DOL indicated that it will "continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction" including the FLSA and MSPA.

Our legislative alerts provide a summary of the withdrawal of these administrative interpretations as well as action steps for employers.

Legislative Alerts: