Scott Statement on Department of Labor Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

September 22, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Department of Labor released its proposed rule on the classification of workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

"The pervasive trend of employers misclassifying their employees as independent contractors has had severe consequences for workers and our economy. It strips workers of basic wage and hour protections, leaves law-abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage, and robs state and local government of billions in lost revenues. 

“Unfortunately, the Department’s proposal would leave workers even more vulnerable to misclassification by upending longstanding guidance on who is considered an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Stunningly, the Department once again fails to estimate how much this proposed change would cost workers in lost wages. 

“As the pandemic has shown, basic workplace protections, such as the minimum wage, overtime pay, and paid sick leave are critical to the lives and livelihoods of American workers. While this proposal would impact the Department's interpretation of employee status under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the consequences would affect workers’ health coverage and retirement security as well. Even the Department concedes that employers will likely use the same classification for a particular worker across benefits and requirements, denying workers job-based benefits, including health insurance and retirement contributions."

“Given the proposal’s enormous implications for our nation’s workers and the economy, the Department of Labor should allow for a generally required 60-day public comment period to ensure that workers’ voices are reflected in the final rule.” 

Today, Chairman Scott and Workforce Subcommittee Chairwoman Alma Adams sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Scalia requesting further information on the drafting of the rule, including copies of communications between the Department and non-government entities.