It has been widely reported over the last month that the United States Department of Labor is planning some new initiatives to crack down on usage (or abuse) of independent contractors by companies. 

Several blogs have done a thorough job on reporting about it including the Delaware Employment Law Blog, Point Of Law, Florida Employment & Immigration Law Blog, and Minnesota Labor & Employment Law Blog

But beyond this, there is also talk about revising some of the exemptions to federal overtime laws, including the domestic service exemption for home health care aides, as discussed by the Prima Facie Law Blog

In short, 2010 is likely to mean further changes and focus on wage and hour laws for employers. 

What does this all mean for employers? For starters, it means its time for companies to do a hard look at their wage/hour practices and how they classify their workforce.  As one post stated: 

Don’t let your business get caught with misclassified employees. Review the business relationship between you and anyone currently classified as an independent contractor to prevent any litigation or penalties for your business.

Because it is such a hot topic, this month’s installment of our webinar series will focus on these initiatives from the federal government.  The next webinar is set for March 17, 2010 at 12 p.m. EDT and, as always, is free of charge. You can sign up here.  My colleague, Joshua Hawks-Ladds (who currently chairs the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section) will lead the discussion.