DOL’s new rule will determine employee/contractor status for millions
On Tuesday, the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized its new rule on employee and independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Depending on how DOL implements the rule, the new worker classification standard could impact a range of professionals, from gig workers to home nurses to construction contractors.
During its comment period, DOL received feedback from many gig workers concerned that the new rule would eliminate their job’s flexibility. Chamber of Progress submitted comments highlighting that a nationwide reclassification of gig workers could result in the widespread loss of jobs and wages.
“Biden Administration officials have previously signaled that this action is not aimed at gig workers, and I certainly hope the Labor Department understands gig workers’ strong opposition to having their jobs reclassified,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “Every survey shows that gig workers value the flexibility that comes with being their own boss. A reclassification that forces them into the position of full-time employees would do economic harm and erase what many workers see as the primary benefit of their occupation.”
Polling by Chamber of Progress released last year found that majorities of both voters and independent contractors themselves in battleground states believe the Biden Administration should respect the desire of independent contractors to remain independent, even if some independent contractors would prefer to be full time employees.
Chamber of Progress has also published an economic analysis that found reclassification of independent contractors would negatively impact an estimated 3.4 million American gig workers, resulting in more than $31 billion in lost income.