Four freelance writers and editors on Jan. 16 filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Labor, claiming the Biden administration’s new rule on when workers can be classified as independent contractors is vague and uncertain and should be struck down because it violates the US Constitution.

Announced Jan. 9 by the DOL and scheduled to take effect March 11, the new regulation uses a multifactor “economic reality” test to confirm when a worker is or is not an independent contractor.

“The Labor Department’s new classification rule makes it harder to be an independent contractor by muddying the waters between who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. These rules chill Americans’ ability to work by threatening businesses with ruinous civil and criminal liability,” said attorney Wilson Freeman of Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the freelancers.

The plaintiffs are freelance writers and editors Kim Kavin, Jen Singer and Deborah Abrams Kaplan from New Jersey, and Karon Warren, based in Georgia. They are the founders of Fight For Freelancers, a coalition of more than 2,500 freelancers in professions ranging from writing to truck driving. The online organization was formed to contest policies — such as California’s AB 5 and the Department of Labor’s rule — that the group alleges make it more difficult for them to work as independent contractors.

The lawsuit is the first to challenge the rule, Reuters reports. However, more legal challenges are expected, and the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest US business lobby, has said it is considering suing. Republicans in Congress have also said they will move to repeal the rule through legislation.

“Opposition among independent contractors to this proposed rule change has been widespread and overwhelming — just as they were with previous state and federal legislative attempts to limit the choice of self-employment since 2019,” plaintiff Kavin said in a press release. “Misclassifying us as employees is not protecting us. It is attacking us and attempting to destroy our chosen careers.”

The case is Warren v. U.S. Department of Labor, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.