WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposal to determine when workers must be classified as employees — who will be subjected to regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act — and when they are free to operate independent of an employer and be in business for themselves as independent contractors. 

This rule rescinds the 2021 DOL rule titled “Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act” which weighed factors involved in a working relationship differently allowing for flexibility. The new rule would return to the previous “totality-of-the-circumstances” analysis, which would impose new burdens and limitations on millions of Americans currently working as contractors.

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:

“The Biden Department of Labor has placed flexible, independent work that women value and depend upon in their crosshairs. They want to make it more difficult for the nation’s 60 million freelancers to engage in their preferred work arrangements. In response to the COVID pandemic, women now comprise over half of new freelancers. The number one reason women engage in independent contracting is the flexibility to set their own schedules and work around important priorities. Many are only working part-time or less and don’t want employee benefits. They’d rather have more money and be their own boss. With 40-year high inflation, American households need more opportunities, not fewer.  

“The 2021 rule pertaining to independent contractors was not only simpler to apply but protected independent contract work across the country. Whether clocking a few hours a week or creating bustling businesses that go beyond a 40-hour week, women are carving out fulfilling and financially secure opportunities as independent contractors. Older Americans can also break free from the constraints of fixed budgets and stay attached to the workforce by freelancing. 

“The Biden administration places these opportunities at risk by returning to a standard that makes it easier to reclassify independent contractors as employees. Going backward does not move women forward.”

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.