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House Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Create New Worker Classification

Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Michelle Steel (R-CA) introduced legislation entitled, the “Worker Flexibility and Choice Act” (H.R. 8442). The bill would amend federal wage laws and the tax code to create “worker flexibility arrangements,” which represent a new type of work arrangement separate from being an employee or an independent contractor. These arrangement would allow businesses to continue treating their workers as independent contractors, absolve them of certain past liabilities for misclassification, and provide workers protections related to privacy rights, non-discrimination, non-harassment, non-retaliation, safety, and leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Notably, the agreements would supersede state and local laws regarding worker classification, like California and Massachusetts’ “ABC” tests.

The legislation has the support of the Coalition for Workforce Innovation, of which the Associated Builders and Contractors are members, as well Uber and other large “gig” companies that rely on independent contractor business models.

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