DOL Publishes Joint Employer Final Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) today announced a final rule to update the regulations interpreting joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The regulations have not been meaningfully updated in more than 60 years.

eugene-scalia-nominated-to-dol-head

Eugene Scalia, Secretary of Labor

Under the FLSA, an employee may have, in addition to his or her employer, one or more joint employers — additional individuals or entities that are jointly and severally liable with the employer for the employee’s wages. The FLSA requires covered employers to pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage for every hour worked and overtime for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek.

“This final rule furthers President Trump’s successful, government-wide effort to address regulations that hinder the American economy and to promote economic growth,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “By giving greater clarity to businesses who want to work together, we promote an entrepreneurial culture that has driven American prosperity for decades.”

In the final rule, the department provides a four-factor balancing test for determining FLSA joint employer status in situations where an employee performs work for one employer that simultaneously benefits another entity or individual. The balancing test examines whether the potential joint employer:

  • Hires or fires the employee;
  • Supervises and controls the employee’s work schedule or conditions of employment to a substantial degree;
  • Determines the employee’s rate and method of payment; and
  • Maintains the employee’s employment records.

The final rule also clarifies when additional factors may be relevant to a determination of FLSA joint employer status and identifies certain business models, contractual agreements with the employer, and business practices that do not make joint employer status more or less likely.

These revisions will add certainty regarding what business practices may result in joint employer status, according to the DOL. This rule promotes greater uniformity among court decisions by providing a clearer interpretation of FLSA joint employer status. These benefits will in turn improve employers’ ability to remain in compliance with the FLSA and will help reduce litigation costs.

The final rule will be effective 60 days after its date of publication.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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