The EEOC Jumps on the Employee Classification Bandwagon

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued updates to its Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021. At first glance it looks a lot like the current plan. But like many government statements, there is a hidden gem that gives a clue to where the EEOC is heading:

"The Commission adds a new priority to address issues related to complex employment relationships and structures in the 21st century workplace, focusing specifically on temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy."

The US government is playing catch up to the gig economy—Uber, Lyft, etc. Yet this priority has noteworthy implications for all employers. Misclassification of employees is a complicated and expensive issue. The EEOC is joining the Department of Labor (DOL) Misclassification Initiative in its committed enforcement of employee misclassification.

If you have not reviewed your employee classifications to comply with the December 1, 2016, DOL deadline on the "White Collar" Overtime mandate, you might reconsider an employment law compliance audit or position classification service. Lest you think the DOL regs will be extended or rescinded, the lawsuits against the DOL will not be resolved before the December 1, 2016, deadline. Those lawsuits are before an Obama-appointed judge who will not take quick action. Moreover, the House bill passed in an effort to thwart and extend the DOL regulations will require Presidential approval--a non-starter. Our advice remains the same-- prepare for the December 1, 2016, deadline to comply with the current law.

The message from the Feds is clear: misclassify employees at your peril (and you thought that was going to read: we just keep coming up with new ways to make it harder to do business).

We can help.