Earlier this week, a U.S. Department of Labor webpage dedicated to the issue of employee misclassification went live. Just in time for the holidays!
While much ink has been spilled in recent weeks regarding potential changes of direction at the DOL in a Trump Administration, the new webpage suggests that the agency will continue to view the abuse of independent contractor status as an enforcement priority for the foreseeable future. The new page does not provide any novel substantive content, but it does bring together at a single location a wealth of information in what the DOL self-describes (accurately, one must admit) as a “user-friendly webpage where workers, employers, and government agencies can find information and resources.”
For example, some of the substantive topics appearing on the “Pay and Misclassification” page include:
- Myths About Misclassification
- Get the Facts on Misclassification Under the FLSA
- Know Your Rights Video: Employee v. Independent Contractor
- Employment Relationship Under the FLSA
- Elaws: Independent Contractors
- Am I an Employee: Employment Relationships Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
- Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
- Wage-Hour Division Administrator’s Interpretation, The Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “Suffer or Permit” Standard in the Identification of Employees who are Misclassified as Independent Contractors
- WHD Press Releases about Employee Misclassification as Independent Contractors
It is clear that the webpage is intended to arm individuals with the information and tools needed to understand the boundaries of independent contractor/employee status as well as the rights appurtenant to such status.
Given the widespread use (and abuse) of independent contractor arrangements in the government contracts industry, contractors would be well counseled to review their current 1099s to ensure that the status can withstand scrutiny as this issue is unlikely to move to the backburner, even with new leadership coming onto the scene in early 2017.
About the Author:
David Warner is a seasoned legal counselor with extensive experience in the resolution and litigation of complex employment and business disputes. His practice is focused on the government contractor, nonprofit, and hospitality industries. David leads Centre’s audit, investigation, and litigation practices.