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DOL Final Rule for Worker Classification: Impact on Retirement Plan Participation and Healthcare Coverage

Key Considerations for Employers: ACAs 50-Employee Threshold, Retroactive Claims, Misclassification, Plan Reporting, and Audits

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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This CLE webinar will provide employee benefits counsel and employers guidance on the impact of the new DOL final rule regarding worker classification on retirement plan participation and healthcare coverage. The panel will discuss the new six-factor test for assessing employee versus independent contractor status, the tests used by the Internal Revenue Service and the potential impact on the ACA 50-employee threshold for small businesses' healthcare compliance requirements, avoiding misclassification with contractor-related language in employee benefit plans, the potential unintended adverse consequences of such language, and next steps for retirement and other plan sponsors.


The misclassification of workers as independent contractors or employees can lead to adverse repercussions for companies that fail to classify their workforce accurately. Determining whether someone qualifies as an independent contractor or an employee is critical for companies in order to maintain compliance and avoid back taxes and penalties.

In addition to potential tax consequences, misclassifying workers exposes companies to legal action. The U.S. Department of Labor recently finalized rules providing an exhaustive six-factor test for assessing employee versus independent contractor status for FLSA purposes. This will likely have a significant impact on healthcare plan coverage and retirement plan participation.

Employers and their counsel must recognize the impact of the DOL final rule on healthcare and retirement plans, such as (1) navigating the ACA's 50-employee threshold and any shift in the number of workers classified as employees for small businesses' healthcare compliance requirements; (2) guarding against retroactive claims for benefits if there is a misclassification; and (3) the impact to retirement plans along with other key issues.

Listen as our panel discusses the ins and outs of worker classification in light of the DOL final rule and steps companies can take to avoid the harsh consequences of misclassifying employees.



  1. The problem with misclassifying workers
  2. New DOL final rule and challenges
  3. The consequences of misclassifying employees
  4. How the government detects worker classification violations
  5. Avoiding the impact of worker misclassification violations in light of DOL final rule


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • Key provisions of the new DOL final rule for worker classification
  • New six-factor test for determining employee vs. independent contractor as compared to the IRS test
  • Impact of ACA's 50-employee threshold and any shift in number of employees
  • Guidelines for correcting employee misclassification
  • Potential triggers for a misclassification audit
  • Steps employers can take to ensure workers are properly classified and paid
  • Actions that can be taken to mitigate the consequences of a determination of worker misclassification in benefits plans


Boutwell, Sherrie
Sherrie Boutwell

Boutwell Fay

For over thirty years, Ms. Boutwell has focused her entire law practice and ongoing education on finding solutions in...  |  Read More

Shulman, Alexandra
Alexandra Shulman

Senior Counsel

Ms. Shulman is a member of Buchalter’s Litigation and Labor and Employment Practice Groups. She defends employers...  |  Read More

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