Comment from Miche Anni

Too many lawmakers and politicians are in favor of simplistic formulas that aim to draw lines on the debate of employee versus independent contractor for everyone all at once. Look at the disastrous AB 5 law in California. With one swoop, a legislator who wanted to make a name for herself tried to regulate everything from freelance journalists to legal service providers to Uber drivers. And it wrecked industries across the state. It didn’t lead to a major shift in classification with people suddenly being recognized as employees. It led to massive numbers of people out of work. It led to California freelancers being viewed as pariahs. But freelancing went on. Companies just hired elsewhere. And if the federal government were to put something disastrous in place like AB 5, the same would happen on a national level. Much of the labor done by independent contractors will still be handled by independent contractors, they’ll just be in other countries while Americans suffer the loss.

Although many industries–construction, transportation, theater, journalism–all contain independent contractors, that hardly makes all their businesses close enough to regulate en masse. Yes, doing so is simpler. But it’s also nonsensical. As a freelance writer, my livelihood should not be jeopardized because governments want to go after major corporations like Uber, Lyft or Instacart. And that is exactly what happened in California.

The ABC test may work for something but not as the general standard for classifying all independent contractors in the modern economy. This proposed rule does far more to protect the status of independent contractors and appears to be developed with regard for the choice to choose entrepreneurial paths. Therefore, I am in support.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-1461 | 24-Oct-20

Categorized under Independence

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