Thursday, July 14, 2016

Reform the Independent Contractor Law

Numerous economic and social studies have determined that Massachusetts has a well-defined need to generate new jobs. One important policy approach that should be included in a new statute is a reform to the independent contractor law.

This law, one of the severest in the country, causes detrimental burdens on many companies that rely on independent labor and as a result, a detraction on our economy at a time when we need to revive opportunities for labor growth.

Today I will be debating an amendment that I have offered to the Senate’s economic development bill, the Act relative to job creation, workforce development and infrastructure investment, Senate Bill 2423. My proposal will reform the independent contractor law with specific new thresholds to determine a person’s status as an contractor:

  • compensation equal to or greater than $30 per hour, or $1,200 per week, or $5,160 per month;
  • services requiring a professional certification or licensure, or conducting business in a franchise relationship subject to FTC rules and regulations;
  • work requiring the exercise of discretion and independent judgment; advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning; or creativity, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor; or
  • the individual is granted either ownership or copyright to the work product.

Our existing independent contractor law impacts more than 1 million workers, including contractors researchers, and artists. Misclassification weakens the competitiveness of law-abiding Massachusetts businesses and constrains our potential for job growth and an opportunity to revitalize our economy.