Another day, another Trump-era Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule that’s been put on the shelf for 60 days. Last week, we blogged about the Biden DOL’s decision to delay the rollout of the tip rules that the Trump DOL adopted in the final weeks of its administration from March 1, 2021 until at least April 30, 2021. Yesterday, the Biden DOL announced that it was delaying the rollout of the Trump DOL’s independent contractor rule from March 8, 2021, until at least May 7, 2021. The rule, which we blogged about here, codified the “economic realities” test that the DOL and the federal courts have long applied to determine whether a worker qualifies as an employee or an independent contractor. Labor and progressive groups railed against the rule, arguing that it improperly expanded who would qualify for independent contractor status, particularly for gig-economy workers.
Their pleas appear to have been heard. Just like the tip rules, it remains to be seen whether the Biden DOL will scrap the independent contractor rule entirely or simply make changes to it to better align with its priorities. As always, we’ll keep you posted.