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Arlington, Va. – Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) today submitted comments to the Department of Labor concerning its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Independent Contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The proposed rule is intended to clarify and bring greater certainty to the test used by the Department to determine if a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.
Freelancing and entrepreneurship are under threat in America with the PRO Act at the federal level and laws like California’s AB-5 at the state level. Independent contracting and other forms of self-employment allow for flexible work arrangements that empower people to pursue meaningful work in a way that fits their lifestyle, creates new entrepreneurial opportunities, and improves their lives.
In the comment, Americans for Prosperity Foundation Senior Policy Counsel Lee Steven writes:
“AFPF applauds the Department’s efforts to bring greater clarity and certainty to the question of independent contracting, a status that applies to millions of gig economy workers, freelancers, and self-employed entrepreneurs. This effort is long overdue and much needed. AFPF believes people should be empowered to earn success and fulfillment through their work and that freedom to choose the kind and type of work they wish to pursue, and under what conditions, is crucial to that empowerment.
“The confused and overly complicated regulatory framework undermines economic prosperity, limits consumer choice, burdens both employers and workers, and stands in stark contrast to the ideals of liberty embodied in this country’s founding documents. The Department accordingly should work to protect the right of individuals to work as independent contractors and should enshrine in its new regulations its institutional support for such a status by ensuring its employment determinations do not improperly undermine this right.”
As summarized by the DOL, the newly proposed rule would: