Washington, DC— The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) announced today its support of the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s final rule on determining employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule rescinds and replaces the 2021 rule that the USDOL rushed to implement in the closing days of the Trump administration.
“This final rule from the Wage and Hour Division simply restates decades of settled law, and it protects construction workers and high-road employers,” said Douglas J. McCarron, General President of the UBC. “If we want to attract and retain a skilled workforce in the construction industry, we need to stop employee misclassification and the self-defeating race to the bottom.”
Misclassifying employees as independent contractors has become an all-too-common practice in the construction industry. A 2023 report from The Century Foundation found that misclassification impacts up to 2.1 million construction workers across the United States.
The non-payment of wages, overtime, employment-tax evasion, and employer workers’ compensation premium fraud is a business model that makes it easier for law-breaking contractors to underbid law-abiding businesses. The industry has been adopting an alarming fraud scheme that relies on subcontract labor providers to supply labor under illegal conditions to lower labor costs. As a result, up to $1.9 billion of overtime wages are stolen from workers a year. According to a 2022 study by the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center, these low-road employment practices contribute to 39 percent of construction worker families relying on public assistance, costing taxpayers $28 billion a year.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners represents 500,000 skilled workers throughout North America. For more information on the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, please visit: www.carpenters.org