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The USDOL Rule is Now Active. Now What? | President's Post by Laura Stigler

03 Apr 2024 12:43 PM | Laura Stigler (Administrator)

 If you’re unfamiliar with the following topic, please go to the links at the end of this article for background. But to bring you up to present time, as of March 11 the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) “Classification of Employees and Independent Contractors Under the Fair Labor Standards Act” has been launched. So now what? Do we have to accept it and, should the need arise, go into Plan B in plotting how we freelancers can continue earning a living? Or is there the possibility that this controversial ruling will eventually be voted down...and out?

Some Good News nuggets

I’m no fan of living in a litigious society, but in this case, it is well warranted. Lawsuits against the USDOL are mounting, including challenges by the four co-founders of Fight for Freelancers USA, trade groups, a transportation group, a trucking company and most recently, the country’s largest business lobby, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. No doubt, there will be more rolling in. By targeting what amounts to 72+ million Independent Contractors, this is an intrusive rule that could take down 45% of the U.S. economy. Clearly the movers, shakers and backbones that make up working America are not standing for it.

It’s heartening to know that the Congressional Review Act (CRA) (sponsored by U.S. Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)) to stop the USDOL’s Classification Regulation has just passed the House committee and is poised for a vote. The Senate has yet to move on it. This is why it is so important to contact your U.S. Representatives and Senators. As Editor Lila Stromer advises in the most recent issue of Freelancer Dispatch

  • Ask your U.S. Representative to vote yea on H.J. Res. 116.
  • Ask your U.S. Senators to vote yea on S.J. Res. 63.
  • Lila’s sample elevator speech: “I’m a [fill in type of freelancer] and have been a freelancer for years. I’m [for example: a senior, parent of young children, caretaker to parents, have health issues, live in a rural area, etc.] This is why I choose to be a freelancer and not a W2 employee.” Then go into your ask (voting yea on the appropriate Senate or House bill).

They’re actually listening. From Freelancer Dispatch: “Staffers from more than 30 members of the House’s New Democrat Coalition (NDC) met with and listened to five freelancers on this regulation. The coalition is composed of House Democrats, making the House’s bill potentially bipartisan if/when it goes to President Biden’s desk.” Check out the NDC link to see if your reps are members. If so (and even if not), contact them and make your case, as suggested in the aforementioned elevator speech. 


In sum, even though the USDOL rule appears to be a done deal, the pushback is gaining momentum. In the meantime, if you’ve any questions as to how the rule may affect you and your business, please try to attend a special Zoom meeting on Tuesday, April 16, where Employment Attorney Lori Goldstein will be speaking, informing and answering your concerns.

I truly hope to see you there.

-- Laura Stigler

Relevant links: 

Fight for Freelancers USA

Everything You Need to Know about the USDOL Independent Contractor Rule

"Are We About to Lose Our Independence?" March Stet President's Post

To subscribe to the Freelancer Dispatch newsletter, please email Lila Stromer

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