Cassidy leads effort to overturn Dept. of Labor’s independent contractor rule

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution on Wednesday to overturn a Department of Labor final worker classification rule and protect the 27 million Americans who work as independent contractors.

The final rule, the Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 10. The senator’s office said it attempts to restrict the ability of American workers to be an independent contractor. The rule creates a six-factor litmus test for unelected officials to interpret who is classified as an independent contractor and gives less legal certainty to independent contractors impacted by the regulation.

“The Biden administration’s priority should not be to do whatever makes it easier to forcibly and coercively unionize workers. It should be to increase individual freedom and opportunity,” Sen. Cassidy said. “This new Biden rule does the opposite, jeopardizing 27 million workers’ ability to make their own hours and make a living without being pressured into joining a union.” 

Cassidy, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, was joined by 31 Republican original cosponsors in introducing Senate Joint Resolution 63. U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was among the cosponsors. 

“This rule from the Biden administration places unnecessary burdens on freelancers and makes it harder for them to work in a way that best fits their individual needs and schedules,” said Sen. Capito, ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. “Overturning this rule would take power away from bureaucrats in Washington and give individuals the freedom to work on their own terms.”

There are several organizations opposed to the new policy, including the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others.