In a move that critics say is economically crazy, the Biden administration has proposed a new rule which would crack down on independent contractors.
The change would impact workers who are “economically dependent” on employers
According to the Daily Wire, the rule would force regulators to consider whether a contractor is “economically dependent” on his or her employer. If it is determined that an individual is indeed economically dependent, then he or she could be reclassified as an employee.
That move was announced in a statement released on Tuesday which said it was needed to “preserve essential worker rights and provide consistency for regulated entities.”
“While independent contractors have an important role in our economy, we have seen in many cases that employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors, particularly among our nation’s most vulnerable workers,” Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh declared.
“Misclassification deprives workers of their federal labor protections, including their right to be paid their full, legally earned wages,” he added.
However, the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity countered in a statement of its own that the new proposal will actually harm contract workers.
Akash Chougule is vice president of government affairs for the group, and he said the “rule is yet another attempt ahead of the midterm elections to benefit the administration’s political allies at the expense of everyday Americans.”
“As families struggle to make ends meet thanks to President Biden’s reckless spending and the economy is still facing supply chain issues, now is the worst time to attack flexible work opportunities,” Chougule continued.
“Federal data has shown that the vast majority of independent contractors prefer their current arrangement over traditional employment – but the administration is putting special interests over the interests of American workers,” he concluded.
The decision comes following a move to forgive student debts
The effort to reclassify contractors comes in the wake of the White House’s decision to have taxpayers cover student debts, something critics also said was illegal.
Caleb Kruckenberg is an attorney for the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation and he leveled that allegation in a press release last month.
“Congress did not authorize the executive branch to unilaterally cancel student debt,” Kruckenberg was quoted as saying. It’s flagrantly illegal for the executive branch to create a $500 billion program by press release, and without statutory authority or even the basic notice and comment procedure for new regulations,” he went on to add.