Legal Dive quoted Lauren Teukolsky last week in an article discussing the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new independent contractor rule. The long-awaited rule was released on January 9th and replaces the DOL’s Trump-era guidance as to employee and independent contractor classification.
The issue of classification has become especially important over the past five to ten years as the American “gig economy” has taken off. With the rise of companies such as Uber and DoorDash, more employers are utilizing workforces that consist of independent contractors. From employers’ perspectives, the development is positive, as it allows them to avoid expenses associated with employees, such as worker’s comp insurance. For employees, however, failure by their employers to properly classify them as employees frequently means a denial of basic workplace rights such as minimum wage, overtime, and paid leave.
The DOL’s new rule seeks to reduce the risk that employees are misclassified as independent contractors by instituting provisions it believes are more consistent with judicial precedent than those previously put in place during the Trump administration. Legal Dive’s article begins with commentary from Ms. Teukolsky on how corporations may need to navigate the new rule, which is set to go into effect on March 11:
“’You need to assume that most of your workers are employees, unless it’s pretty clear that they’re not, and not the other way around,’ said Lauren Teukolsky, who represents workers at Teukolsky Law. ‘It’s definitely the safest course.’”
Ms. Teukolsky also commented that the Trump-era rule deviated from longstanding employment-law principles, and the DOL’s new rule represents a return to the well-established legal principles that existed for decades.
To read Legal Dive’s article in its entirety, click here. To learn more about Ms. Teukolsky and Teukolsky Law, click here.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.