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Flex Urges Biden to Delay Worker Classification Rule Until Permanent Labor Secretary Confirmed

Letter Comes After Julie Su’s Nomination To Be Labor Secretary Has Been Stalled For Nearly Five Months In Senate Due To Lack Of Support For Her Record And Policies She Has Pushed


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Flex, the trade association representing America's leading app-based rideshare and delivery platforms and the people who count on them, released a new letter to President Biden calling for his administration to refrain from finalizing the Department of Labor’s proposed worker classification rule until the U.S. Senate confirms a permanent Secretary of Labor.

The letter comes as the President’s current nominee to lead the Department of Labor, Julie Su, has not received a vote in the U.S. Senate after nearly five months due to lack of support for her record and the policies she has espoused as California’s Labor Commissioner. Specifically, Flex’s letter notes that the lack of support in the Senate for Ms. Su’s nomination stems in part from her refusal to articulate plans for finalizing the proposed worker classification regulation in a manner that protects independent work and avoids the economic turmoil California experienced under her leadership.

Furthermore, given the potential for the final rule to have far-reaching impacts on workers and consumers at a time of economic uncertainty, Flex is urging the Biden Administration to not finalize its worker classification proposal before having a permanent Secretary who has been confirmed by the United States Senate.


The full text of Flex’s letter to President Biden can be found HERE and as follows:


Dear President Biden:


I write on behalf of Flex to reiterate a request from our March 20, 2023 letter that the Department of Labor refrain from finalizing a proposed regulation making substantive changes to the guidance governing worker classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act until the United States Senate confirms a permanent Secretary of Labor.


The Senate received the nomination of Ms. Julie Su for Secretary of the Department of Labor on March 14, 2023. In the nearly five months that have since passed, the full Senate has yet to vote on Ms. Su’s nomination. The lack of support in the Senate for Ms. Su’s nomination stems in large part from her refusal to articulate plans for finalizing the proposed worker classification regulation in a manner that protects independent work and avoids the economic turmoil California experienced under her leadership. Simply put, by declining to act on Ms. Su’s nomination, the Senate is advising against the policies she has espoused and declining to consent to her leadership. As a result, any action taken to finalize the proposed worker classification regulation under Ms. Su’s current leadership as Acting Secretary would circumvent the Senate’s constitutional role of providing advice and consent on nominees.


Furthermore, Ms. Su’s stalled nomination confirms that the views she espoused as California’s Labor Secretary toward app-based platform work and the policy actions she took to undermine independent entrepreneurs are unpopular not only in that state but across the United States.[1] It is clear that the Senate lacks confidence in her ability to support app-based workers, who prefer by wide margins to operate as independent entrepreneurs who make their own decisions about whether, when, and where to work. Flex remains concerned that Ms. Su’s leadership could lead to upheaval that is national in scope.


Given these stakes and the potential for any negatively revised final rule to have far-reaching impacts on workers and consumers at a time of economic uncertainty, the Department should not finalize its worker classification proposal before having a permanent Secretary who has been confirmed by the United States Senate.


Sincerely,


Kristin Sharp

CEO, Flex




[1] As California’s Secretary of Labor, Ms. Su was significantly involved in the state’s AB 5 legislation, which wreaked havoc across multiple industries. If the law had not been eventually amended by ~60% of California voters in a ballot measure, the statute could have undercut more than a million people who choose flexible work


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Flex is the voice of the app-based economy, representing America's leading app-based rideshare and delivery platforms and the people who count on them. Our member companies—DoorDash, Grubhub, HopSkipDrive, Instacart, Lyft, Shipt, and Uber—help provide access to crucial goods and services to customers safely and efficiently, offer flexible earning opportunities to workers, and support economic growth in communities across the country. Together, we advocate for policies that enable our industry to continue delivering for the people who count on our platforms.


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