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DOL Curtails FLSA Independent Contractor Exception

Published:  July 21, 2015

Just days after releasing proposed amendments to its regulations that will significantly limit the “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Department of Labor (DOL) released an Administrator’s Interpretation providing “guidance” on the test applicable to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.  The Administrator’s Interpretation makes clear that the DOL’s goal is to limit the number of workers who are considered independent contractors under the FLSA and, therefore, are exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions.  Specifically, in discussing the multi-factor “economic realities” test that is used by courts to determine whether a worker is an employee covered by the FLSA, the DOL focuses heavily on whether the worker performs functions integral to the employer’s business.  This focus brings the FLSA closer to the more-restrictive Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute.  

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