Trump DOL shows callous disregard for subcontracted workers

On June 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded an important guidance document on joint employer liability. Below is a statement by Saket Soni, Executive Director of the National Guestworker Alliance:

“This week, the DOL rescinded a critical guidance document that helped uphold the rights of subcontracted and contingent workers. The move reflects a callous disregard for the struggles of subcontracted workers in America, a lack of understanding of workforce trends, and the Trump Administration’s latest betrayal of its pledge to protect the rights of workers.

“The guidance addressed the the issue of joint employer liability, which is central to the fight against inequality and unfair working conditions. It was issued in January 2016 by then-DOL Wage and Hour Administrator Dr. David Weil, one of the world’s leading experts on the changing the dynamics of an increasingly subcontracted workforce.

“The guidance clarified that businesses may be jointly liable for minimum wage and overtime obligations towards workers even where they are not the direct employer for purposes of payroll or other common law definitions. It was part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to stop businesses from improperly classifying workers as independent contractors, which is a problem from the on-demand economy to agriculture and construction. The National Guestworker Alliance actively advocated for and applauded the measure.

“At a time when the American workforce is increasingly subcontracted and precarious, rolling back this critical piece of administrative guidance is the height of irresponsibility to America’s workers.”

CONTACT: Stephen Boykewich, stephen@guestworkeralliance.org, 323-673-1307

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