BREAKING: U.S. Department of Labor Guidance on Broad Interpretation of Employee for Fair Labor Standards Act

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance on how to distinguish between employees and independent contractors.  Employee misclassification is and has been a serious problem for workers seeking to make a living as employers seek to classify them as independent contractors, depriving them of overtime pay and benefits, such as unemployment insurance.  Employers often assert that determining whether a worker is an independent contractor is fuzzy, but the new guidelines provide additional clarification on interpreting the existing regulations.  The guidelines focus heavily on “FLSA’s statutory directive that the scope of the employment relationship is very broad” and “the broader concept of economic dependence.”  The guidance ends with a clear conclusion: “most workers are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions.”  Read the guidance here.