Press Release

I4AW submits regulatory comments; shows support for worker freedom and flexibility

DOL and NLRB proposed rules would decimate independent contracting and destroy the franchise model

I4AW submits regulatory comments; shows support for worker freedom and flexibility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 13, 2022
CONTACT: Mary Ellen Beatty,

HAMILTON- The Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are doubling down on overreaching tactics that could have catastrophic consequences, including the following:

  • An expanded definition of ‘employee’ that would decimate the ability of many independent contractors to work for themselves or earn side income;
  • and a broadened joint-employer standard that would destroy the franchise model.

Institute for the American Worker (I4AW) stands in opposition to these job-killing regulations and recently submitted regulatory comments against both proposed rules: DOL’s “Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” and also the NLRB’s “Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status,” which was co-signed along with New Civil Liberties Alliance.

“These rules present a combined attack on entrepreneurship, small business and independent work,” said F. Vincent Vernuccio, founder and president of I4AW. “At this time of economic uncertainty and high inflation, workers need every tool at their disposal to support themselves and their families.  Instead of making it easier to earn a living, start a business, or get extra cash through a side hustle, DOL and the NLRB are proposing to make it harder by taking away these options.”

The independent contracting rule, specifically, would give DOL the ability to make employment determinations based on theoretical control, “not limiting control to control that is actually exerted.” Such a broad interpretation would have a chilling effect on self-employment, putting conceivably all independent contracting work in jeopardy.

From I4AW’s regulatory comment to DOL: “I4AW seeks to empower workers and, as such, believes that workers should be able to choose independent contract work, employment, or any combination of the two based on their preferences and risk tolerance, just as workers should be able to choose to pursue their preferred field of work.”

Additionally, through the joint-employer rule, small businesses across America which utilize relationships with other businesses would be undermined, specifically those operating as franchises and vendors. Under this rule, many additional business relationships could be determined as joint employer situations by the NLRB.

I4AW’s comments on NLRB’s proposed joint-employer rule can be found here and comments on DOL’s proposed independent contractor rule can be found here.

To speak with F. Vincent Vernuccio, please email to set up an interview.


Institute for the American Worker is a non-profit 501c3 organization that educates policymakers on complex labor legislation and offers policy solutions that benefit the American worker.