WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Department of Labor finalized its rule pertaining to the classification of independent contractors. 

The final rule, Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, rescinds the Trump-era rule that made it easier for workers to be classified as independent contractors and replaces it with a multifactor analysis to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The six factors include any opportunity for profit or loss a worker might have; the financial stake and nature of any resources a worker has invested in the work; the degree of permanence of the work relationship; the degree of control an employer has over the person’s work; whether the work the person does is essential to the employer’s business; and the worker’s skill and initiative.

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

“Today, President Biden and Labor Secretary Julie Su launched a war on working women who depend on independent, flexible work. The entrepreneurial spirit in America is under attack from an administration that seeks to force as many people as possible into traditional unionizable jobs against their wishes.

“Some 64 million Americans freelanced last year, and more than half of them were women.  Millions of women nationwide choose to be their own boss to balance work with other important priorities such as raising children, caregiving to aging parents and sick spouses, or managing their own health conditions. Women overwhelmingly opt for independent status over employee status because they want flexibility. A staggering 92% of female workers say they are likely or very likely to prioritize flexibility over stability. The flexibility that independent contracting affords is essential to keeping women attached to the labor force. 

“This new rule will nationalize the hardship that California imposed on its independent contractor workforce through Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). Look for the heart-breaking stories of California freelancers, who lost incomes, livelihoods, and businesses to this wrong-headed policy, to spread nationwide.’

Karen Anderson, IWF visiting fellow and founder of Freelancers Against AB5, said, “Despite the ongoing disaster of AB-5 in California, the attacks on independent contracting continue to spread nationwide, pushed by Big Labor, the USDOL, and the Biden Administration. These relentless pursuits against worker freedom disproportionately impact women including career professionals, stay-at-home moms, seniors, students, those with disabilities, and those who rely on independent contracting to supplement their income.”​

Jennifer O’Connell, IWF visiting fellow and writer, added “Thanks to California’s AB5, I lost opportunities and thousands of dollars in work that will never be recovered. I moved to a right-to-work state to have the freedom to pursue my career as I see fit, but it appears the Biden administration is intent on spreading the evils of AB5 nationally by using the U.S. Department of Labor. These rule changes further threaten my livelihood and the livelihoods of millions of independent women who prize freedom, flexibility and the ability to work as we choose. AB5 caused significant harm to California independent professionals, and this rule change seeks to propagate this harm.”

To read Independent Women Forum’s public comment on the proposed rule, visit: https://www.iwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/IWF-DOL-Comment-Final.pdf 

As part of its workforce campaign “Chasing Work,” Independent Women’s Forum has produced written profiles and mini-documentary videos of American workers who have been negatively affected by AB5 and other restrictions on worker freedom and flexibility. To learn more, visit: https://www.iwf.org/chasing-work-independent-contractors 



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.