Bloomberg Law
June 7, 2017, 1:21 PM

DOL Changes Course on Worker Classification, Joint Employers

Chris Opfer
Chris Opfer

The Labor Department scrapped a pair of Obama-era informal guidance documents, taking the first steps in what could be a new approach to hot-button worker classification and joint employer liability debates.

The withdrawn administrator interpretations (AIs) clarified a broad definition of joint employment and independent contractor misclassification, particularly in the low-wage industries that President Barack Obama’s DOL frequently targeted for wage-and-hour investigations.

The effect of the 2015 and 2016 interpretations on public and private wage-and-hour enforcement is still up for debate. But by withdrawing them, recently confirmed Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta sent a message to GOP lawmakers and the business ...