Comment from Ben Brubeck

About Associated Builders and Contractors

ABC is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members. ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC’s membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors. Moreover, the vast majority of our contractor members are classified as small businesses. Our diverse membership is bound by a shared commitment to the merit shop philosophy in the construction industry, which is based on the principles of nondiscrimination due to labor affiliation and the awarding of construction contracts through open, competitive bidding based on safety, quality and value.

Summary of ABC’s Comments in Response to DOL’s Proposed Rule

As further explained below, ABC supports the DOL’s proposed rule. ABC is pleased the proposed rule clarifies the DOL’s interpretation of independent contractor status under the FLSA and promotes certainty for employers, independent contractors and employees. Independent contractors are essential to many aspects of the construction industry. They provide specialized skills, entrepreneurial opportunities and stability during fluctuations of work common to construction. At the same time, due to conflicting and confusing tests for independent contractor status, construction firms have been unfairly targeted for alleged misclassification of some workers as independent contractors, resulting in expensive and time-consuming litigation and less efficient performance of construction work.

ABC strongly advises its members at all times to properly classify workers as employees or independent contractors, in compliance with applicable law(s). But additional clarity and guidance is needed in order to properly classify workers in construction to avoid jeopardizing the ability of construction firms to continue the industry’s longstanding practice of utilizing legitimate independent contractors under the FLSA.

ABC believes DOL’s proposed rule will promote economic growth in the construction industry by providing greater clarity to construction industry employers as to the proper classification of independent contractors and employees under the FLSA. In the comments that follow, ABC requests some additional clarifications, and urges creation of a “safe harbor” with regard to enforcement of the FLSA, so that construction contractors do not jeopardize any independent contractors’ status as such, while attempting in good faith to comply with the myriad of conflicting requirements of other federal and state laws.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-1694 | 10/26/2020

Categorized under Independence

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