Press Releases

O’Brien: DOL Rule Affirms There is No ‘Third Way’ on Employment Classification


Press Contact: Matt McQuaid Phone: (202) 624-6877 Email:

(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien on the “Econonic Realities Test,” the final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor for determining employment classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new standard goes into effect today.

“The Teamsters commend the Department of Labor for returning employment classification back to a fair and rational standard. FedEx, Amazon, and other companies that intentionally misclassify workers to shirk responsibility for their employees had better take note — either change your business model or run afoul of the law.

“Greedy corporations want us to believe that workers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ don’t deserve full employment rights and have greater freedom for being denied those rights. Well, that’s a tough gig, and an even harder pill to swallow. Companies like FedEx, Amazon, Uber, Lyft, and so many others can easily afford to take responsibility for their workers, and they must be forced to comply with the law just like everybody else. Misclassification is not innovation. It’s a racket, and it’s an unlawful denial of collective bargaining rights that people have fought and died for.

“The primary factors for employment status in this new rule, including who decides the cost of labor, hours of service, and a worker’s capability of gaining or losing money through their own decisions, are common-sense benchmarks that shouldn’t be up for debate.

“The rule affirms what we already know — workers are either employed or self-employed, and that’s it. Congress should act now to codify this into federal law. State and municipal policymakers should honor this standard by resisting any effort to create a false ‘third way’ of classifying workers, thereby denying them full employment protections.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at