By Travis P. Lampert, Esq.
Though you may only have one job, many of you work for multiple, or joint employers. This situation often arises when multiple employers have a close relationship and are essentially pursuing a single venture, such as contractors and sub-contractors, or even franchisees. Under Obama era rules, the Department of Labor, when evaluating whether an employer is a joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) focused on the relationship between potential joint employers, and the economic dependence of the employees on the joint employers to determine if employers were joint employers for purposes of federal wage laws. Under federal law, joint employers can be held equally responsible for wage law violations. The Obama era rules provided greater protection for workers because it held more employers responsible for ensuring that their workers were paid appropriately under federal law.
However, President Trump’s Department of Labor has recently issued a new rule, to take effect on March 16, 2020, that will make it more difficult for workers to recover unpaid wages against joint employers. The new rule requires a worker to show significantly more involvement on the part of the joint employer, and instead of focusing on the relationship between the joint employers and the worker’s dependence on the joint employers, the new rule will consider whether the joint employer is involved in hiring and firing of the employees; supervision and control of work conditions; setting the rate and method of payment; and maintenance of the employee’s employment record. The new rule is intended to make it more difficult to pursue joint employers for federal wage law violations.
Under the new rule, it is even more important to consult with a qualified attorney who can identify all of the potential defendants who may be responsible for failing to pay you what you are entitled to under the law. If you are not being paid the minimum wage, or overtime compensation, contact the Law Office of J.J. Talbott immediately to discuss your rights.