The United States Department of Labor is proposing a rule that intends to classify more workers as employees, which could alter how farriers hire independent contractors to perform hoof care.

“While independent contractors have an important role in our economy, we have seen in many cases that employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors, particularly among our nation’s most vulnerable workers,” Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh says. “Misclassification deprives workers of their federal labor protections, including their right to be paid their full, legally earned wages. The Department of Labor remains committed to addressing the issue of misclassification.”

The proposed rule would use a multi-factor economic realities test that determines whether the worker is an independent contractor or an employee. The rule would consider investments by the worker and employer, the permanence of the relationship, whether the work is integral to the employer’s business, as well as the worker’s skill and initiative.

Public comments will be accepted until Nov. 28, 2022. They can be submitted online at or in writing to the Division of Regulations, Legislative and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20210.

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