The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) shifted priorities when President Joe Biden took office in January, and many guidelines and rules were rescinded or revamped. As the new administration takes shape, employers can expect new rulemaking and an uptick in enforcement activities, attorneys said.
"Employers should expect more investigations," said J. Hagood Tighe, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Columbia, S.C. They can also expect that DOL audits will focus on the use of independent contractors, which he said is "a hot button issue" for David Weil, a former head of the DOL's Wage and Hour Division and Biden's nominee to resume the role.
Along with Weil, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh is likely to push for a significant increase in the federal minimum wage and the minimum salary level for the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA's) white-collar exemptions, predicted Steven Pockrass, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Indianapolis.
When Walsh was confirmed as secretary of labor in March, he said he is "committed to ensuring that everyone—especially those in our most marginalized communities—receives and benefits from full access to economic opportunity and fair treatment in the workplace."
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