CWF, ATR Endorse the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020

Posted by Olivia Grady on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 at 4:59 pm - Permalink

On May 22nd, Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020 in the Senate, and Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced the legislation in the House. The Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) strongly support the legislation because it will help gig economy workers, such as Uber and Lyft drivers.

The Act helps these independent contractors by allowing digital market place companies to give them payments, health benefits, trainings and PPE during the coronavirus crisis without threat of lawsuits. Without this law, companies could be reluctant to provide this support because it could be used as evidence in a lawsuit by someone claiming that the independent contractors are employees or that the company is a joint employer.

As Congresswoman Miller said:

"This bill will ensure platform companies supporting independent contractors during this pandemic have the freedom to offer incentives like paid leave, bonuses, and preventative care, without the threat of lawsuits.”

This legislation also follows suggested protections that the House Education and Labor Republicans wrote about in an April 10th blog post.

In fact, the Republican Leader of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued a statement in support of this legislation:

“As we continue to combat COVID-19 and businesses around the country struggle to remain solvent, workers continue to seek the flexibility and ability to earn an income on their own terms. Independent contracting provides an important source of income and entrepreneurial opportunity to millions of Americans. Unfortunately, under current law, businesses that provide additional relief like paid leave and other benefits to independent contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic could potentially trigger an employer-employee relationship under state or federal law, creating additional liabilities for the business and depriving workers of entrepreneurial opportunity.

The legislation introduced today would allow businesses to protect independent contractors in the sharing economy during this unprecedented crisis without facing the additional costs which result from a traditional employer-employee relationship, while preserving the freedom and flexibility that the vast majority of independent contractors prefer.”

Because the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020 helps American workers during a time of high unemployment, the Center for Worker Freedom and Americans for Tax Reform strongly support this legislation and commend these Members of Congress for introducing it.