March 05, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined the Coalition for Workforce Innovation’s lawsuit over the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new independent contractor rule. The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, challenges DOL’s new test for classifying employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

The new rule replaces the 2021 rule's framework, which designated two "core factors"—control over work and opportunity for profit or loss—with a more indeterminate six-factor test to assess whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Under the new test, businesses and employers—especially small businesses—will face confusion and uncertainty when trying to determine whether they have properly classified their workers. 

DOL's new rule also threatens the independent contractor model, which allows companies to scale operations up or down, and to retain expertise as needed while providing workers with flexibility and control of their work activities. 

“The Department of Labor’s rule would deprive millions of Americans the freedom to choose to work as an independent contractor. Individuals work as independent contractors for all kinds of reasons, including greater work-life balance, the ability to choose when and how to work, and the opportunity to be one’s own boss. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will keep fighting to protect the right of individuals to work as independent contractors and against the Department of Labor and its government-knows-best approach,” said Marc Freedman, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Employment Policy Division. 

Along with the U.S. Chamber and the Coalition for Workforce Innovation, this lawsuit includes co-plaintiffs: the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeast Texas, American Trucking Associations, Financial Services Institute, National Federation of Independent Business, and National Retail Federation. 

The full complaint can be viewed here