Americans for Tax Reform endorses the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020 sponsored by congresswoman Carol Miller (R-W.Va.). and congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

The companion Senate bill is sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

“Every American should be free to work as an independent contractor. It is not just rideshare drivers but millions of Americans who work for themselves and choose that freedom and opportunity. Some politicians want everyone to have a boss, work 40 hours a week in the office and be easy to tax and unionize. Some Americans choose to be their own boss and work for themselves as independent contractors. They should have that right without asking anyone for permission,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  

Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director of Digital Liberty, said:

“As unemployment claims soar and businesses close their doors permanently, it is vital to protect independent contractor opportunities. If backwards politicians are successful in forcing a widespread reclassification of contract workers, it will destroy thousands of jobs at a time when traditional employment is scarce. Contractors and the businesses they work with, unfortunately, need to be protected from certain politicians.”

As noted by Miller’s office:

The Helping Gig Economy Workers Act permits digital market place companies to provide, through the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, payments, health benefits, trainings, and PPE to users of the digital marketplace without it being used as evidence in any federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation for the purposes of determining whether a user is considered an employee or independent contractor or the company is considered a joint employer.

The last thing needed during COVID-19 is an assault on independent contractors and gig economy workers, but that is exactly what Democrats at the state and federal level are doing.

The gig economy is synonymous with innovation and opportunity. It created efficient restaurant delivery services to keep small businesses afloat when dining in was not an option. It provides grocery delivery services for vulnerable populations who cannot risk going to grocery stores. With schools and childcare centers closed, the gig economy creates flexible work for parents who no longer have access to childcare services. Protecting the gig economy is imperative for our national recovery.

The legislation, if passed, would be in place until June 30, 2021, or until the end of the current public health crisis. 

Sen. Braun said: “Bottom line: this commonsense bill will provide a safe harbor for businesses who want to help the temporary and service workers helping us during COVID-19.”