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News | Jul 07, 2019

Workers’ Rights Organizations Submit Comments Opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed “Joint Employment” Rule

As many of you know, the USDOL’s Wage & Hour Division recently sought comments regarding a proposed rule that seeks to make it harder for workers to prove “joint employment” under the FLSA.  The proposed rule — available HERE — is yet another gift from the Trump Administration to giant corporations.  This time, the Trump Administration wants to make it easier for big business to escape responsibility for wage/overtime violations by hiding behind layers of “contractors” and “subcontractors” that pay the workers.

Writing on behalf of our firm, my comments regarding the proposed rule seem pedestrian compared to the extensive analysis presented by other commentators.  We keep it short and simply argue that the FLSA’s definition of employment is based on well-established, precedential decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court and various U.S. Courts of Appeal.  In our view, USDOL should not — and cannot — issue purported “rules” that contradict binding decisional law.

Many worker’s rights advocates submitted comments that are more thoughtful and extensive than mine.  If you click HERE, you will be taken to the regulations.gov webpage that allows you to search among the thousands of submitted comments.

Finally, in case you are interested, here are links to comments submitted by a few excellent organizations (just click on the organization name and you will be taken to the comment): the AFL-CIO; the National Employment Law Project (NELP); the Service Employees International Union (SEIU);  the  National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA);  the Equal Justice Center; and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

-PW

 

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