The DOL recently issued a proposed rule to clarify when a worker is classified as an employee covered by the FLSA or an independent contractor. If the rule is finalized as proposed, it would make classifications easier.
- Adopts an “economic reality” test to determine a worker’s status as an FLSA employee or an independent contractor. The test considers whether a worker is in business for himself or herself (independent contractor) or is economically dependent on a putative employer for work (employee);
- Identifies and explains two “core factors,” specifically the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work, and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment. These factors help determine if a worker is economically dependent on someone else’s business or is in business for himself or herself;
- Identifies three other factors that may serve as additional guideposts in the analysis: the amount of skill required for the work; the degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer; and whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production; and
- Advises that the actual practice is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.