MBO Fights for Independents

MBO has championed independents’ needs and rights to do the work they love, the way they want for over 20 years. Whether this means going to Capitol Hill to testify in front of Congress, leading sessions with the World Economic Forum, or creating a one-stop destination to help small businesses access CARES Act benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re always here for you.

advocacy and support for independents

Share Your Thoughts with the Department of Labor on New IC Rule

For the first time since the end of World War II, the Department Labor looking at what makes one an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This Proposed Rule would utilize the economic realities test as a straightforward standard around what actions one must take to be classified as an independent contractor, or if they should be considered economically dependent on an employer for work, and instead deemed an employee.

As part of this rulemaking, the Department will:

  • Adopt an “economic reality” test to determine a worker’s status as an FLSA employee or an independent contractor. The test considers whether a worker is in business for themselves (independent contractor) or is economically dependent on a putative employer for work (employee);
  • Identify and explain two “core factors,” specifically: the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work; and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment. These factors help determine if a worker is economically dependent on someone else’s business or is in business for themselves;
  • Identify three other factors that may serve as additional guideposts in the analysis including the amount of skill required for the work; the degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer; and whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production; and
  • Advise that the actual practice is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

MBO believes that the Independent Contractor Rule offers much-needed clarity in the existing law. If passed, it will allow you, as an independent professional, greater freedom to work in the manner you choose with your clients.

The Rule was scheduled to take effect on March 8, 2021. It has presently been delayed and re-opened for comment as part of the changeover in administration.

Submitting comments is simple – all that’s needed is short statement or story about why you love being an independent professional and believe the rule should proceed as planned – and must be done by February 24, 2021.

*This link will take you directly to the DOL’s website for comment submission; click the “comment” button in the upper left of the page to submit your feedback and also view other feedback.

More About What We're Doing

MBO’s advocacy work has long been core to our mission. Our leadership has frequently been on Capitol Hill, providing testimony to the committees and agencies drafting the government’s response. Making independents equal beneficiaries of the stimulus is a top corporate priority for MBO; we’re bringing that about by:

  • Ensuring representation in assessments & allocations. Our Founder testified before the Bureau of Labor & Standards to quantify the size of the independent population and its resulting economic needs, as well as meeting with members of the Senate Finance and Ways and Means Committees to drive visibility on this group’s effect on the US economy.
  • Providing insight & advice to independents. For more than 20 years, we’ve offered regular and valuable educational content, events, and more for independents to help them start, run, and grow their businesses.
  • Developing services to offer assistance to independents. From MBO Advantage, which helps practice owners scale and network, to our marketplace, which provides a place for independents to see new contract job opportunities, we're always developing new ways to help you and your business succeed.

COVID-19 Resources

Don’t miss our interactive CARES Minisite, designed to help independents access benefits and programs for COVID-19 relief.

A History of US and Global Advocacy

MBO Partners is continually involved in activities that shape the national dialogue regarding the independent workforce.

We participate in a number of initiatives to help champion the next way of working, including regular appearances on Capitol Hill to advocate for independents’ rights.

Advocacy and Research

Recent Press

Leadership Committed to Changing How We Work

Gene Zaino MBO Partners


Gene Zaino

Founder & Executive Chairman

Gene Zaino, an avid entrepreneur and nationally recognized expert in the next way of working, launched MBO Partners to reinvent the way independent consultants and organizations work together. He’s a passionate advocate for the independent workforce movement and is committed to developing the best practices and engagement tools that support workplace independence.

Read Gene's Bio »

Miles Everson


Miles Everson


Miles has worked with many of the world’s largest and most prominent organizations, specializing in executive management. Before joining MBO, Miles served as Global Advisory and Consulting CEO for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP (PwC), where one of his signature accomplishments was transforming the workforce through widespread adoption of independent talent.

Read Miles' Bio »

Eric Rumbaugh


Eric Rumbaugh

General Counsel

Eric has a nationally recognized practice in the area of contingent labor and regularly prepares and reviews policies, procedures and contracts and litigates contested matters for users and providers of temporary employees, consultants, independent contractors and other contingent talent.

Read Eric's Bio »

Stay Informed!

MBO is committed to providing you with opportunities to learn about ways to participate in our nation’s legal process relating to independent contractor issues, as well as to provide valuable information when benefit programs come available for independent contractors. Sign up for MBO’s newsletter, and we’ll send you updates as programs emerge.

The information provided here does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. It does not take into account your particular circumstances, objectives, legal and financial situation or needs.  Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information for your situation in consultation with a professional advisor of your choosing. This is a rapidly changing area of the law and will be subject to change and interpretation.