Big Changes Ahead for Gig Workers?

Big Changes Ahead for Gig Workers?

The discussion about benefits and protections legally required for workers who work from home has gotten more heated because their numbers in the workforce have increased.

More than 10 million Americans think of themselves as working as gig workers. Many do not have the advantages and legal rights that workers of the traditional type enjoy.

As the Trump administration aimed to keep things the same however, it appears that the Biden administration has adopted an alternative approach, focusing on more benefits and better safeguards to gig workers. On October. 11th The Labor Department unveiled a proposed rule that could have millions of gig workers become employees.

Definiting the Qualifications

The new rules would expand the criteria which The Labor Department uses to determine whether an employee is worker or an independent contractor. The criteria would be:

  • If the worker is an integral element of the company’s operations
  • The level of control that is exercised by the business over the employee
  • The worker’s control is over their earnings.

Additionally, it would be clear what the definition of “economically dependent on their employer to perform their duties (and consequently considered an employee) or is operating a the business of their own (and therefore an individual contractor),” the Labor Department stated.

The Biden administration began its push to increase gig worker rights in the month of May 2021 after the Labor Department revoked a rule that was in effect two weeks prior to when Trump was removed from office 5 months before.

In March this year the U.S. district judge in Texas stopped the Biden administration’s decision to revoke the rule, and ordered the Trump rules to come back in the law. It was the Labor Department appealed, and it was announced in June that it was planning to release a new regulation.

The proposed rule would apply only to the laws DOL is required to enforce, including the federal minimum wage as well as overtime compensation. Employers and other regulators within other jurisdictions could consider the DOL’s interpretation in making decisions on classifying workers. Judges could apply it as a reference.

In the event that it does, it will affect firms that argue that their workers are contractors who work for themselves, such as Uber, Instacart, and DoorDash. The companies claim that it will cost them 20 % to 30% and it’s likely they’ll file legal challenges in opposition to this rule.

The National Retail Federation issued a statement in opposition to the policy, calling it “both unreasonable and inconvenient” which will lead to “massive confusion” as well as “endless litigious.”

The case can’t go on until the rule has been finalized However. DOL invites public input on the rule, but a final decision isn’t expected until a few months.

It’s not necessary to solve this on your own – Seek the help of a lawyer

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