By at 24 January, 2024, 9:46 am

By Karen Kerrigan –

On January 9, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finally dropped its long-awaited regulatory bombshell – the final Independent Contractor rule. SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan issued the following response:

“Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su’s intrusive new rule is a massive blow to entrepreneurial opportunity and the flexibility and freedom entrepreneurs enjoy through independent business ownership. The rule is so pervasive and intrusive that almost any independent contractor can now be ‘misclassified’ and forced to be an employee by the federal government…the new rule will create massive uncertainty, new costs, revenue loss, and loss of opportunity for independent contractors and the small businesses that tap into their expertise. The new rule is an attack on the American dream of business ownership.”

In December 2022, when the rule was proposed, SBE Council filed comments detailing the many problems with the proposed rule. We urged the DOL to listen to small business owners and the independent contractor community and to withdraw it.

Members of Congress championing independent contractors and small businesses immediately criticized the new, and will utilize their legislative authority to overturn it. In the U.S. House, Congressman Kevin Kiley (R-CA) has been leading the charge to protect independent contractors. He announced on the House floor on January 12, that he will introduce a CRA resolution to nullify the new rule. SBE Council strongly supports the effort to rescind the rule via the CRA. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) announced he will introduce a CRA on the Senate side.

Is your independent business targeted by the new Biden-Su rule? Congressman Kiley lists the 600 various professions here in a speech on the House floor that he says “have been devastated by the law and are now being targeted nationwide by Biden’s new Independent Contractor rule.”

Also, can see the Six Tools Congressman Kiley Says He Will Use to Stop the New Rule:

House Small Business Committee Weighs In: Chairman Roger Williams (R-TX) also sounded the alarm about the new rule. In a January 18 letter, Chairman Williams notes the damage to small businesses and pointed out that the DOL did not follow its statutory obligations in drafting and advancing the new rule:

“This rule from the DOL fails to appropriately consider its impact on small businesses. Independent contractors and small businesses often work in concert with one another and the DOL’s rule would effectively ruin their agile partnership.”

Several groups are planning to file a lawsuit to challenge the Biden-Su rule, with the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of Fight for Freelancers the first out of the gate.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


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