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“Proposed DOL Guidance Broadens Definition of Independent Contractors for Oil and Gas Employers”

December 2, 2020

Article by Annette Idalski and Brian Smith on “Proposed DOL Guidance Broadens Definition of Independent Contractors for Oil and Gas Employers”

SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine

In an article published in the November/December issue of SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine, Annette Idalski and Brian Smith discuss the proposed Department of Labor’s proposed guidance on its broadened definition of independent contractors for oil and gas employers.

“Independent contractors have long been a mainstay in the oil and gas industry,” explain Idalski and Smith. “Given the ebbs and flows of the industry, contractors allow for much-needed flexibility. But, using contractors can sometimes create risk, particularly if the relationship is not handled correctly.”

The article discusses the Department of Labor’s recently proposed rule that clarifies whether a worker is considered an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Idalski and Smith explain how this rule broadens the classification of workers in favor of oil and gas employers.

“The DOL’s proposed rule sets forth a multi-factor test of two ‘core’ factors and three ‘guidepost’ factors, with the ultimate inquiry being that of economic dependence versus economic independence,” the authors write. “In other words, the proposed rule focuses on whether a worker is economically independent and in business for himself or herself or is economically dependent on the business with whom the worker contracts.”

To read the article in full, click here.