Department of Labor Proposes Withdrawal of Independent Contractor and Joint Employment Rules

Mar 22, 2021

by Aigner Carr

As discussed in our prior insight, the Department of Labor (DOL) continues to revise its independent contractor and joint employment rules.

As anticipated, the DOL announced on March 11, 2021 a proposal to rescind the Independent Contractor final rule. The final rule was published in January 2021, with an expected effective date of March 8, 2021. However, the Biden administration issued a regulatory freeze on recently adopted laws, including the previous administration’s Independent Contractor rule. The freeze delayed the Independent Contractor rule’s effective date until May 7, 2021. The rule adopted an economic reality test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the FLSA. The DOL has stated the adopted final rule would “significantly weaken” worker protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

The DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (“NPRM”) that proposes to withdraw the Independent Contractor final rule. As of the publication of this insight, the NPRM has generated 44 public comments. It will remain open for public comments until 11:59 pm ET on April 12, 2021.

Rescission of Joint Employer Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act Rule

The Department also announced a NPRM to rescind a current regulation on joint employer relationships under the FLSA. The Joint Employer Rule, which is explained in more detail in our prior insight on this topic, was published in January of 2020, and took effect on March 16, 2020. The proposed rescission will remove the regulation established by the rule. Public comments for this rule may also be submitted until 11:59 pm ET April 12, 2021.


Labor and Employment – Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan & Jackstadt, P.C. has successfully represented a number of businesses, large and small, throughout the Midwest in labor and employment matters. Our broad range of experience includes employment discrimination litigation, wage-hour investigations, affirmative action revision plans development, INS audits, and a variety of traditional labor matters.

Aigner S. Carr practices primarily in the areas of labor & employment, litigation, and education law, representing both private and public institutions in education and employment matters. Aigner attended Saint Louis University School of Law and is licensed to practice in Missouri. During law school, Aigner competed on the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Team and was awarded Best Trial Advocate of the Mid-West region for 2015-2016 competition. Aigner is also a former member of the Theodore McMillian American Inns of Court. Before joining the firm, Aigner interned for the Saint Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and the Federal Public Defender’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri.