Biden’s new regulation has contractors and companies alike questioning how it will affect their jobs. Read below to see if your classification will change.
Biden’s New Regulation
The Biden administration recently announced a new rule intended to change how businesses categorize their employees.
This might have an impact on a number of industries, including construction, restaurants, healthcare, and transportation.
This regulation, which will take effect in March, will replace the 2021 rule put in place during the Trump administration.
Its goal is to provide a more stringent framework for deciding whether a worker can be designated as an independent contractor.
This new regulation has the ability to affect millions of jobs.
Before you panic, it is important to remember that businesses impacted by this might look into legal options to challenge its implementation.
The Gig Economy Bigwigs
In response, app-based businesses – especially those operating in the gig economy—have expressed optimism that the law won’t drastically change their core business strategies anytime soon.
Uber released a statement saying, “This rule does not materially change the law under which we operate and won’t impact the classification of the over one million Americans who turn to Uber to make money flexibly.”
DoorDash agreed, saying, “We do not anticipate this rule causing changes to our business,” the company said in a statement.”
The fundamental question is whether or not to classify workers as independent contractors or employees.
Federal labour laws such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation, and unemployment benefits are not applicable to independent contractors.
It has been alleged that some businesses misclassify their workers as contractors in order to evade offering these benefits.
In order to assess a worker’s categorization, the new rule takes into account variables like the longevity of their employment, the extent of employer control over their performance, and the significance of their function to the organization as a whole.
Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su said, “This rule provides greater clarity and consistency in determining a worker’s status. ”
A department spokesman continued, saying that the strategy is not industry-specific and officials hope it won’t cause “widespread reclassification of workers in any industry.”
This regulatory action is in line with President Biden’s larger plan to deal with labor-related issues.
The administration first proposed the rule in October 2022, and throughout the consultation period, about 55,000 responses were received.
The Familiar Discussion
The introduction of the rule may rekindle discussions over how to classify food delivery drivers and ride-share services.
The big names in these markets, including as DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber, have fought in court for years to be able to keep the status of their drivers as independent contractors.
2020 saw the issue pick up steam as California emerged as the state where laws pertaining to gig workers were fought over.
An expensive ballot campaign that would have prevented Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from reclassifying drivers as employees in the state was successfully spearheaded by them.
This vote established a precedent that affected other states’ laws pertaining to gig workers.
Washington Follows Suit
For example, Washington State approved legislation in 2022 to maintain the independent contractor model for these businesses.
These businesses intend to launch a ballot effort in Massachusetts later this year that is modelled after the one in California.
Trade associations that represent a number of app-based businesses, such as Flex, have typically opposed the Labor Department’s rule.
Flex argues that millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners may experience severe uncertainty as a result.
On the other hand, the labour union organization AFL-CIO has applauded the proposed rule, seeing it as a safeguard against dishonest employers.
Although the rule’s exact effects are still unknown, experts believe that how the legal system interprets it will be crucial.
Test Cases Coming Soon
Test cases are likely to arise, according to Loyola University Chicago management professor Peter Norlander, who notes, “Pretty soon you’re going to have a test case or multiple cases where a worker says I’m being treated like an independent contractor, and I should be treated like an employee.”
Norlander continued, “I think the ultimate resolution of this is to be determined.”
The new worker classification guideline from the Biden administration is set to alter the course of employment law this year. Legal disputes and industrial reactions will determine how this reform ultimately affects the labour field as it develops.
The post Democrats Propose Stringent Worker Classification Rules: How Could Your Job Be Impacted? first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff.