With much support from the logistics industry, a federal judge in Texas has determined that the independent contractor rule established under the Trump administration will be reinstated. This rule clarified portions of the economic realities test that the Federal DOL uses to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. After the Biden administration began working to overturn it, many in the logistics industry anticipated the DOL would rescind the Trump era interpretation to fit its antipathy toward independent contracting.
Various legal tests for determining worker status have been in flux since the administration change. This undoubtedly has had a negative effect on many businesses, from ridesharing to independent financial advisors. A recent Pew Research Center study of gig workers and freelancers found that many wish legislators would take a hands-off approach and leave existing independent contractor laws the way they were under the previous administration. The latest verdict from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is seen as a win for independent contractors. Still, it’s recommended to keep an eye on the Federal Department of Labor and its continued attempt to change the FLSA rules.