New guidance signals tougher stance on independent contractor classification

July 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

A new interpretation of language in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the latest effort in the government’s fight against what it sees as troubling misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

On July 15, David Weil, administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), released Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1 to analyze how the FLSA determines whether an individual should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

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Preliminary FLSA Record-Keeping Regulations Expected in April

January 11, 2011 0 COMMENTS

An agency Web chat hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on Thursday, January 6, provided expected dates for proposed regulations on record-keeping under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the “Right to Know Under the Fair Labor Standards Act” initiative is expected in April 2011.

The proposed rule, which will further the department’s Plan/Prevent/Protect and Openness and Transparency goals, will be drafted to provide workers with essential information about their employment status and earnings, including notification of status as an employee or independent contractor as well as notification of whether the employee is exempt or nonexempt. The rules also may require employers to provide a wage statement containing this or other information to employees each pay period.

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DOL Announces ‘Bridge to Justice’ Attorney Referral System

December 14, 2010 0 COMMENTS

It may soon be easier for employees to find private legal representation after the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) declines to pursue their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims. This is thanks to a new collaboration between the WHD and the American Bar Association (ABA) to establish an attorney referral system. Vice President Joe Biden, along with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, announced this new “Bridge to Justice” program at a Middle Class Task Force event on November 19, 2010.

Starting December 13, 2010, when workers with FLSA or FMLA claims are told that the WHD is not going to pursue their complaints, they may be given a toll-free number to contact the new ABA-Approved Attorney Referral System. If they call this number, they will be referred to ABA-approved attorney referral service providers in their area.

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Wage War: DOL Launches Aggressive “We Can Help” Enforcement Outreach

April 07, 2010 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has fired a loud warning shot to employers in its ongoing effort to increase federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enforcement. In a news release late last year, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis first unveiled plans for a proposed program to work with advocacy groups and other stakeholders to inform workers of their labor rights. However, We Can Help, which was officially launched last week, represents a very active effort on the WHD’s part to reach out to employees for their help in cracking down on suspected wage violations.

The We Can Help website presents employees who think they aren’t “being paid right” with a nothing-to-lose wage complaint scenario, encouraging them to take advantage of a toll-free information hot line, complainant confidentiality, and protection for undocumented immigrant workers. Employers defending against the complaints, however, aren’t afforded similar luxuries and may face significant loss of time, money, and resources on the program’s effort to solicit (potentially frivolous) claims.

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