Employers and employees might have whiplash. This year has ushered in a number of changes at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that bear on compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These changes include the rescinding of the prior administration’s Joint Employer Rule and the withdrawal of the Independent Contractor Rule. Together, these developments reflect the Biden administration’s continued focus on broadening the scope and application of employment and labor protections to workers, and a tightening of regulations in the employment and labor context relating to FLSA compliance.
The Rescinded Joint Employer Rule
Effective Sept. 28, the DOL rule regarding Joint Employer Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “Joint-Employer Rule”) is null and void. The Joint-Employer Rule, which took effect in March 2020, was rescinded by final rule earlier this summer. That rule discussed two standards for determining whether two or more companies may be jointly and severally liable for a single employee’s hours worked under the FLSA: vertical and horizontal joint employment.