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Misclassification of July 15 2015

On July 15, 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1 (the “Interpretation”). The Interpretation provides guidance on the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA’s”) “Suffer or Permit” standard in an effort to curtail the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. This guidance comes in the wake of several high profile lawsuits concerning the classification of workers as independent contractors by companies such as Uber, Lyft and FedEx. With the issuance of the Interpretation, the DOL is taking the stance that the FLSA’s definition of employee is much broader than the definition generally applied by employers. According to the DOL, “most workers are employees under the FLSA’s broad definitions.”

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