Employers Beware: New DOL Interpretation Threatens to Require FLSA Coverage for Traditional Independent Contractors

Much has been made of the United States Department of Labor's (“DOL”) proposed rule, promulgated in response to President Barack Obama's March 2014 Executive Order, that increases the standard salary level required for the Executive, Administrative and Professional “EAP” or “white collar” exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) from $455 a week ($23,660 for a full-year worker), to $970 per week ($50,440 per year).  After all, it is estimated that over five million, currently exempt, salaried employees will be entitled to overtime pay if the Rule becomes final.  However, the DOL's recent position1 regarding its interpretation of the FLSA's “Suffer or Permit” employment definition has the potential, if upheld, to include coverage for as many or more individuals, who may otherwise be deemed independent contractors.  Read more here.