The Trump-era rule was designed to make it easier for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, rather than traditional employees, by focusing on whether workers are economically dependent upon an employer—or in business for themselves.
The Trump-era test prioritizes two key factors, including (1) the worker’s degree of control over the work performed, and (2) the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss. Under the Biden administration, the DOL stated that prioritizing these factors for determining employment status under the FLSA undermined the longstanding balancing approach of the economic realities test and court decisions requiring a review of the totality of the circumstances related to the employment relationship.
The Trump DOL rule would result in many workers’ losing FLSA protections, including minimum wage and overtime benefits.
Several business groups filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the Biden administration’s acts. The court vacated the Biden administration’s acts and reinstated the Trump-era rule, determining that the DOL’s delay of the effective date for the Trump-era rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act by providing only a 19-day period for notice and comments (rather than the 30-day minimum).