Press Release

Trucking Praises DOL Proposal Clarifying Status of Independent Contractors

ATA says proposed rule will provide truckers freedom and flexibility 

Arlington, VA – Today, the American Trucking Associations praised a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor that would clarify the definition of employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act as it relates to independent contractors.
 
“Secretary Scalia understands that many Americans choose the independent contractor model — including hundreds of thousands of owner-operators in the trucking industry — because it expands their opportunities to earn and empowers them to choose the hours and routes that suit their individual needs and lifestyle,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This proposal is about giving working Americans the freedom to pick the occupation and flexibility they desire, and we thank Secretary Scalia for putting it forward.”

In its announcement today, DOL stated the proposed rule:

  • Adopts an “economic reality” test to determine a worker’s status as an FLSA employee or an independent contractor. The test considers whether a worker is in business for himself or herself (independent contractor) or is economically dependent on a putative employer for work (employee);
  • Identifies and explains two “core factors,” specifically the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work, and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment. These factors help determine if a worker is economically dependent on someone else’s business or is in business for himself or herself;
  • Identifies three other factors that may serve as additional guideposts in the analysis: the amount of skill required for the work; the degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer; and whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production; and
  • Advises that the actual practice is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is currently available for review on the department's website, and public comments can be filed for 30 days once formally published in the Federal Register.