AGC Opposes Proposed Survey of Workers on Independent Contractor Issues

May 22, 2013
On March 12, 2013, AGC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) concerning its proposal to collect information from workers about their employment experiences and knowledge of laws regarding the misclassification of independent contractors as employees. The proposed survey would involve prescreening nearly 18,000 households leading to over 10,000 interviews of workers from various industries over a two-year period.  Since construction has often been mentioned by the WHD as an industry of focus with regard to worker misclassification enforcement, it is expected that construction workers will be targeted for survey participation. In the comment letter, AGC addressed the construction industry’s legitimate business need for the use of independent contractors in certain circumstances.  AGC also questioned the need for the proposed survey, provided alternative suggestions for rooting out intentional misclassification, and detailed the unconsidered disruption and costs that may affect contractors should their workers be asked to participate. Many in the business community believe that the WHD’s purpose for creating the proposed survey is to justify new “Right to Know” regulations that would require employers to provide written notice to all workers defining their classification status as an independent contractor or employee.  In addition, the anticipated regulations would require written notification of an employee’s classification as exempt or non-exempt, and the decision factors used to make the determination.  At this time, according to the most recent regulatory agenda, the “Right to Know” regulations are on-hold but remain in WHD’s long-range planning schedule. For additional information on determining independent contractor status, please visit AGC’s Labor and HR Topical Resources Webpage. The primary category is “Other Legal Issues” and the secondary category is “Independent Contractors.”
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