In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Allan Bloom discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed new rule on independent contractor classification. In recent years, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors has been the subject of a number of private lawsuits and investigations by government agencies. This is true for traditional industries and also companies within the gig economy, which rely heavily on independent contractors. So be sure to tune in as we address how this proposed rule may impact employers’ classification of workers.
Harris Mufson: Welcome to The Proskauer Brief: Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Law. I’m Harris Mufson and on today’s episode I’m joined by Allan Bloom and we’re going to discuss the Department of Labor’s proposed new rule on independent contractor’s classification. So Allan, Employment Law really divides workers into two categories: one employees and the others independent contractors, and the Department of Labor has proposed a new rule regarding the classification of workers as independent contractors. Can you describe that rule?
Allan Bloom: Harris that’s right. Employees are generally covered by the federal wage and hour laws so that means minimum wage that means overtime pay but independent contractors are not covered so whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is a major issue under the wage and hour laws in addition to a number of other laws. Particularly in the last few years the misclassification of workers as independent contractors has been the subject of a number of private lawsuits a number of investigations by government labor agencies and tax agencies and this is not only in traditional industries but also in businesses within the gig economy or the on-demand economy that rely heavily on independently contracted workers. So the legal rights of these types of