ABC Disappointed by DOL’s New Independent Contractor Rulemaking Announcement

On June 3, the U.S. Department of Labor stated that it plans to engage in rulemaking on determining employee or independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

As part of the rulemaking process, the agency will hold a public forum on June 24 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET to hear input from employers. ABC will be participating in the forum. Learn more about the forum and register.

Once a proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, there will be a notice and comment period allowing the public to review the proposal and provide formal written comments.  


In January 2021, the DOL under President Trump issued an independent contractor final rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which ABC strongly supported. Soon after, the DOL under President Biden issued a proposed rule to withdraw the final rule and ABC submitted comments opposing it. On March 26, ABC, the ABC Southeast Texas Chapter and the Coalition for Workforce Innovation filed suit against the DOL. In May, the DOL rescinded the final rule.

On March 15, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to delay and rescind the Trump administration’s 2021 independent contractor final rule in that case. Under a decision applauded by ABC, the ABC-supported rule went into effect as scheduled on March 8, 2021, and remains in effect today.

Desired Outcome:

ABC will be commenting on and closely monitoring the DOL’s latest rulemaking to ensure compliance with the district court’s order, which remains in effect. Independent contractors are an essential lifeline to the construction industry, and any effort by the DOL to undermine that status will likely be challenged by the coalition of which ABC is a part.