The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final rule for joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule helps to clarify an area of employment law that has long been a source of contention between employers and employees, ending contention that goes back at least sixty years. In particular, it creates clear criteria for what a “joint employer” is and what responsibilities they have to their employees.
Joint employment is a scenario where a person is “employed” simultaneously by two or more individuals or entities, all of whom are responsible for dictating the employee’s duties and paying the employee’s wages. To clarify, this is not a situation where an employee works two or more jobs at different employers; instead, it is where an employee has multiple employers for the same job. Most commonly, this becomes an issue where an employee technically works for one employer, but another employer benefits from his work simultaneously.
There are four factors that are considered when determining whether joint employment exists. They are:
- Do they hire and fire employees?
- Do they supervise and controls employees’ schedules or conditions of employment to a substantial degree?
- Do they determine employees’ pay rates and the methods by which employees are paid?
- Do they maintain employment records for the employees?
If a determination of joint employment is found, all joint employers become jointly and severally liable for their wages, as well as for any damages incurred under the FLSA or other labor laws. In other words, every joint employer becomes equally responsible for the joint employee’s wages, and if the employee sues them, they all are equally responsible for any money that must be paid out for any settlement or judgment against them.
If you are in a dispute with your employer over your wages or want to protect your rights as an employee or independent contractor, give the Law Offices of Steven Sack a call. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of employment law, including overtime, tips and gratuities, minimum wage, unemployment benefits, and disability matters. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.