January at-a-glance…regulations

Final rule issued to clarify independent contractor status

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule – effective March 8 – clarifying the standard for employee versus independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Among the criteria used to determine independent contractor status are:

  • Whether someone is economically dependent on a potential employer for work.
  • The nature and degree of control an individual has over their work.
  • The worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment.

Biden calls for $15 minimum wage; additional relief for hospitality industry

As part of his administration’s initiatives to restore U.S. economic growth, President Biden has announced plans to seek an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour. “No American worker should work 40 hours per week and still live below the poverty line.” The current federal minimum wage, in place for more than a decade, is $7.25/hour. The 2020 federal poverty level for a family of four was $26,200 annually.

At the same time, the president recognized that the hospitality industry has lost more than 372,000 jobs since the pandemic, outpacing all other industries due to COVID-19-related shutdowns. President Biden called for “additional financial aid to restaurants, bars and the hospitality industry that have been slammed by the virus.”