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NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FINAL RULE REQUIRES REASSESSMENT OF INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

On January 10, 2024, the Department of Labor introduced a game-changing Final Rule impacting the classification of workers as independent contractors or employees, with significant implications for physical therapy practices. Authored by Tucker Arensberg Shareholders Paul Welk, PT, JD, and Albert S. Lee, JD, this critical analysis published by the APTA Private Practice (A section of the American Physical Therapy Association) sheds light on the tightening legal standards that determine worker status. Set to take effect on March 11, 2024, this adjustment could affect legal protections, employment obligations, and potential penalties for misclassification.

The Final Rule aims to ensure workers entitled to employment benefits receive them by applying an “economic reality test.” This test evaluates factors such as the opportunity for profit or loss, investment comparison, permanence of the work relationship, degree of control, the integral nature of the work, and the skill and initiative of the worker.

The article emphasize the necessity for physical therapy practices to reassess their workforce classifications to comply with the new rule, suggesting the involvement of legal counsel or HR support. This reassessment is crucial not only for compliance but also for ensuring fair labor practices and avoiding competitive disadvantages.

Read these detailed insights here provided by Paul Welk, a member of the Private Practice Section of APTA and an attorney with Tucker Arensberg, P.C., specializing in corporate and healthcare law for physical therapy private practices, and Albert Lee, a Labor & Employment attorney also with Tucker Arensberg, P.C., advising clients across various sectors.

February 21, 2024

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