On Tuesday, January 9, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule to help workers and employers better understand how to analyze who is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This rule, which went into effect March 11, 2024, makes it harder for companies to misclassify workers, expanding access to employee protections such as overtime pay, Social Security benefits and more.

“Unions like SMART have long fought against the sordid practice of worker misclassification in the construction industry, where bad-faith companies categorize their workers as independent contractors in order to deprive them of the protections, benefits and pay they deserve — including minimum wage, overtime pay and workers’ compensation,” said SMART General President Michael Coleman on the day the rule was issued. “This anti-worker practice has been particularly harmful to immigrants and members of underrepresented communities. The final rule issued by the DOL today will protect tens of thousands of workers across the country, and all of us at SMART applaud Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and the Biden administration for taking action.”

Watch to learn more about SMART local unions’ efforts to combat worker misclassification.