White Paper

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DOL Issues Opinion Letter That May Provide Guidance on Independent Contractors in the Gig Economy


Most recently, the DOL had gone back and forth on its standard which made waves in the industry.

The Department of Labor recently released an opinion letter that offered guidance for gig economy companies in regards to workers being classified as independent contractors, and not subject to the minimum wage and overtime requirements required by the FLSA. This white paper reviews this recent opinion letter and how the DOL’s previous uncertainty made it difficult for businesses to grow and plan for the future.



Shannon D. Farmer

Ballard Spahr LLP

Shannon D. Farmer is an associate in the Litigation Department, and a member of the Labor and Employment Group of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP. Ms. Farmer concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. She previously served as law clerk to the Honorable Raymond J. Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1998-2000. Ms. Farmer serves on the board of directors of the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic, and on the board of directors of The Birth Center. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association. Ms. Farmer is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A. degree) and the University of Pennsylvania (J.D. degree, cum laude).

Elliot I. Griffin

Ballard Spahr LLP

Elliot Imani Griffin is an associate in the Litigation Department of Ballard Spahr LLP, who focuses her practice on labor and employment matters. During law school, Elliot interned with Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 100 energy company, where she researched recent National Labor Relations Board decisions to assess how they would impact Exelon's policies. She also wrote demand letters to address fake websites that were allegedly infringing upon the mark of Exelon and its subsidiaries, drafted motions, and assisted in the preparation for Pennsylvania Utility Commission hearings.

Elliot worked at Ballard Spahr as a summer associate where she drafted memos, conducted background research of plaintiff experts, and edited and updated chapters of an eDiscovery text book.

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