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Washington State Ruling Affects Worker Classification in 8 States

The Washington State Ninth Circuit Court recently ruled that the “economic realities” test of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to claims brought under Washington’s Minimum Wage Act. A lower court ruling appeared to limit the number of factors to be considered as part of the classification process, but the Ninth Circuit Court disagreed.

The Ninth Circuit Court held that the trial court should have considered any and all of the 13 factors contained in the economic realities test instead of the five that were used.

The outcome of the ruling is that all 13 elements of the economic realities test must be considered when companies classify workers as full time or contingent. And because the Washington State Ninth Circuit Court’s jurisdiction covers eight western states, the implications extend beyond just Washington State.

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