DOL Says Employers Are Morons

By John Alan Doran

Okay, that’s not what the DOL said exactly. But the DOL did say today that companies far and wide are just wrong on which workers are employees and which are independent contractors for purposes of the FLSA. In an “Administrator’s Interpretation,” the DOL today re-asserted that it believes almost all individuals providing services to a company are employees and most companies who claim to be using independent contractors are simply misclassifying actual employees.

In what we only wish were a tongue-in-cheek commentary, the DOL’s own blog describes the Mis-“Interpretation” as an attempt to give employers “clarity” on employee status under the FLSA.  Unfortunately, the DOL Mis-“Interpretation” repeatedly chants the mantra that the FLSA defines “employee” in the broadest sense imaginable and then states a plethora of factors (all of which appear to suit the DOL and not job-creators) to be balanced in light of the FLSA’s definition. What clarity has the DOL provided when its stated position conflicts with the I.R.S. definition of “employee,” conflicts with laws in the majority of the states with respect to employee status, and repeatedly states that every classification requires an individualized balancing of multiple factors against an incompatible statutory definition?