With the Flick of a Pen, U.S. Department of Labor Announces that Most Workers Are Employees

July 2015

On July 15, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance on employee and independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Stating that the key consideration in classification decisions is whether the worker is economically dependent on a business, the DOL emphasized its view that most workers are employees under the FLSA. Although it remains to be seen how far courts will go in accepting the DOL’s interpretation, employers should be aware that the DOL will apply a very broad definition of “employee” when investigating a company’s practices.

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