Authored by Alex Passantino
On June 7, Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the DOL’s 2015 and 2016 Administrator Interpretations (“AIs”) on joint employment and independent contractors. These documents were statements of the Wage & Hour Division’s interpretations of the FLSA’s (and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act’s) definitions of “employ,” “employer,” and “employee.” The withdrawal does not change the law; it simply removes as the DOL’s position those statements made in the AIs.
The withdrawal likely indicates a changing focus in the Department’s enforcement efforts away from the “fissured” industry initiative of the Obama Administration. We may get additional insight when Secretary Acosta testifies before the House Labor appropriations subcommittee to discuss the Trump Administration budget.