You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
It’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team
Pink Floyd just gets it. When I was a young lawyer, someone described civil litigation to me as just moving piles of money from one party to another. But that cynical view tells only part of the story. It excludes the emotion, frustration, stress, and workload involved in defending disputes and in dealing with the consequences, which can include destroying an entire business model.
For businesses making widespread use of independent contractors, all of these concerns are about to get worse.
President Biden’s proposed FY2022 budget includes expanding resources to combat independent contractor misclassification. The Administration’s “commitment” to combatting misclassification is spelled out pretty unambiguously on page 15:
The Administration is also committed to ending the abusive practice of misclassifying employees as independent contractors, which deprives these workers of critical protections and benefits. In addition to including funding in the Budget for stronger enforcement, the Administration intends to work with the Congress to develop comprehensive legislation to strengthen and extend protections against misclassification across appropriate Federal statutes.
The President’s proposal includes $14.2 billion for DOL enforcement efforts, including to “address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.” This represents a $1.7 billion increase from 2021.
Expect the Department of Labor to place much greater scrutiny on independent contractor relationships than during the Trump Administration. The nomination of David Weil to head up the Wage and Hour Division signals that the President is serious about this enforcement priority. Weil served in the same role under Obama, and he made independent contractor misclassification a focal point of his enforcement efforts.
If your independent contractor arrangements have not been closely examined recently, it’s time for a check up. $14.2 billion for enforcement efforts is a lot of money. I think I’d buy me a football team.
© 2021 Todd Lebowitz, posted on WhoIsMyEmployee.com, Exploring Issues of Independent Contractor Misclassification and Joint Employment. All rights reserved.