Coalition Urges Passage of Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe on Friday, July 31st, 2020, 10:00 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform today released a coalition letter with 20 signers supporting the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020. The full letter can be read below:

 

July 30, 2020

RE: S.3733 and H.R. 6988, the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Majority Whip Thune & Senator Cornyn: 

The undersigned organizations, representing millions of taxpayers, thank you for your insistence that the next COVID-19 relief bill include liability protections for businesses, schools, and nonprofits in compliance with public health guidelines. Unless Congress acts, a tidal wave of frivolous lawsuits could dampen our already fragile economic recovery. 

In particular, we are grateful that Senate Republicans have embraced protections for app-based platform companies that work with independent contractors. Senators Braun, Cassidy, Loeffler, and Scott, and Representatives Miller and Cuellar have introduced S.3733 and H.R. 6988, the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020, and Senate Republicans included similar protections in the SAFE TO WORK Act for joint employment and independent contracting, which is also included in the HEALS Act. These measures would provide app-based platform companies that provide PPE and other worker protections with a safe harbor for the length of the pandemic.  

As families increasingly rely on delivery and ride-sharing platforms to access supplies, groceries, take-out meals, and prescriptions, app and internet-based businesses have proven critical throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These platforms have also provided flexible earnings opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Americans during these challenging economic times. 

During the pandemic, many app-based platform companies – like countless others across the country – have proactively provided workers with sick pay, personal protection equipment like masks and hand sanitizer, and access to health services. Without tailored legal protections, we are concerned that opponents of these companies will sue and seek to use these actions as evidence of an employer-employee relationship under federal law. Special interests have utilized state laws like the disastrous AB5 in California to try and eliminate the app-based platform business model entirely. Congress should not follow California’s path at the federal level. 

In addition, we believe Congress should focus on protecting the freelance economy in the face of sustained attacks on the left.Independent contracting has been in the crosshairs in state capitals around the country. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to force companies to reclassify independent contractors as employees. If other states follow California's lead and erect barriers that impede commerce, Congress may need to step in and create a federal standard. Without robust protections, both independent contractors and the millions of Americans who depend on them will be harmed as these goods and services disappear forever. 

We strongly support your efforts to ensure that liability protections for innovative companies are included in any final agreement on COVID-19 relief. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Grover G. Norquist 

President 

Americans for Tax Reform  

 

Pete Sepp 

President 

National Taxpayers Union 

 

Jessica Anderson 

Executive Director 

Heritage Action 

 

Tom Schatz 

President 

Council for Citizens Against  

Government Waste 

 

Adam Brandon 

President 

FreedomWorks 

 

Carrie Lukas  

President  

Independent Women’s Forum 

 

Heather Higgins 

CEO 

Independent Women's Voice 

 

Eli Leher 

President 

R Street Institute 

 

Krisztina Pusok 

Director of Policy and Research 

American Consumer Institute 

 

Ralph Benko 

Chairman 

The Capitalist League 

 

Ryan Ellis 

President 

Center for a Free Economy 

 

Andrew F. Quinlan 

President 

Center for Freedom and Prosperity 

 

Ashley Baker 

Director of Public Policy 

The Committee for Justice 

 

Katie McAuliffe 

Executive Director 

Digital Liberty 

 

Dave Wallace, II 

President 

FAIR Energy Foundation 

 

Andrew Langer 

President 

Institute for Liberty 

 

Karen Kerrigan 

President & CEO 

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council 

 

James L. Martin 

Founder / Chairman 

60 Plus Association 

Saulius "Saul" Anuzis 

President 

60 Plus Association 

 

Dick Patten 

President 

American Business Defense Council 

 

CC: Senators Braun, Cassidy, Loeffler, Tim Scott, Congresswoman Carol Miller, Secretary Mnuchin, Mark Meadows

Photo Credit: Lara Eakins

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