The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a strong rebuke of the Labor Department’s proposed independent contractor rule ahead of the December 13th deadline. 

In a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy wrote: “Advocacy is concerned that DOL’s Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is deficient for this rule. DOL significantly underestimates the economic impacts of this proposed rule on small entities at less than $25 annually per business. Small businesses told Advocacy that they are very confused on how to classify their workers and comply with DOL’s regulations. DOL’s proposed rule may be detrimental and disruptive to millions of small businesses that rely upon independent contractors as part of their workforce. Independent contractors who may also be small businesses also believe that they may lose work because of this rule.”

Their letter concluded, “Advocacy recommends that DOL reconsider this proposal.” 

Independent Women’s Forum sent in comments opposing the DOL rule, arguing to keep the 2021 Trump administration rule in place. 

“We know that about half of independent contractors are women, so proposed regulations that curtail independent contracting make this a concerning issue for us,” said Patrice Onwuka, director of IWF’s Center for Economic Opportunity. “Non-traditional employment relationships allow workers to earn income and work on their own terms, setting them up to pursue their dreams and fulfill their life’s desires. It’s troubling that lawmakers and regulators at the federal and state levels are working against the independent and entrepreneurial spirit by imposing these new restrictions on independent contracting.”

New reports show the freelance workforce is growing. The most recent available numbers from MBO Partners find 64.6 million Americans, or 39% of the U.S. workforce, now partake in some form of independent contracting—full-time, part-time, or occasionally.

Federal rulemaking should reflect economic trends, not impend or intrude on this burgeoning workforce.

To learn more about independent contracting, go HERE.