, a New York Partner in Locke Lord's Labor and Employment Practice Group and co-head of the Firm's Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance Practice, was quoted by Law360 on The U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to repeal the Trump-era rule for determining whether to classify workers as employees who are entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act's wage protections or independent contractors who are not. Reibstein said the rejected rule wouldn't have had a major impact because it was little more than DOL's take on decades of court rulings and, in any event, the courts, not the DOL, is the final arbiter of whether a worker is an independent contractor under the law.
"The issue of independent contractor status, especially in the gig economy, has unfortunately become so politicized of late that even legally meaningless acts by administrative agencies have garnered outsized attention from stakeholders," Reibstein told Law360. "The independent contractor regulation is the quintessential example."
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