PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Coalition Letter in Support of the “Harmonization of Coverage Act of 2017,” H.R. 3825

By at 11 May, 2018, 10:23 am

 

 

The Honorable Virginia Foxx

Chairwoman

Committee on Education and the Workforce

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Ranking Member

Committee on Education and the Workforce

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Bradley R. Byrne

Chairman

Subcommittee on Workforce Protections

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

 

The Honorable Mark Takano

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Workforce Protections

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairmen Foxx and Byrne and Ranking Members Scott and Takano:

On behalf of the Coalition to Promote Independent Entrepreneurs, a national coalition of organizations, companies, and independent entrepreneurs that support an individual’s right to work as an independent entrepreneur, we are writing to express our strong support for H.R. 3825, the Harmonization of Coverage Act of 2017.

The current patchwork of more than 10 different definitions for the term “employee” across federal and state statutes creates significant uncertainty for legitimate independent contractors and their clients. This, in turn, creates an unfair playing field that discriminates against these independent entrepreneurs and stifles economic growth.

Independent entrepreneurs represent a material segment of the American workforce and contribute hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the American economy. They deserve legal certainty concerning the contractual relationships they enter into with their clients. A harmonized definition of “employee” would apply a consistent, reliable test to the relationships between these entrepreneurs and their clients in the eyes of the law and facilitate the ability of government agencies to ensure that workers are classified properly.

H.R. 3825 would achieve such harmonization by conforming the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to the other New Deal statutes that all now follow a common-law definition of “employee.” Further, it would conform the FLSA to recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that adopt a common-law test for the term “employee” for purposes of statutes, such as the FLSA, that define the term with a definition that is circular.

The sooner that action can be taken to harmonize this definition, the sooner our nation’s independent entrepreneurs will be liberated to compete on a level playing field and maximize their earnings. Companies will then be able to decide whether to engage legitimate independent entrepreneurs based on their business needs rather than their exposure to potential regulatory risks. Once this occurs, the overall economy can begin to operate more efficiently and potentially grow at faster rates.

We respectfully urge you to support this bipartisan bill and urge swift Committee consideration and House passage during the 115th Congress. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

American Bakers Association

Americans for Tax Reform

American Society of Travel Agents

American Trucking Associations

Associated Builders and Contractors

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Dart Transit Company

Direct Selling Association

Equinox Business Solutions

Financial Services Institute

Forest Resources Association

G.A. Wright, Inc.

Hispanic Leadership Fund

Independent Bakers Association

Insights Association

MBO Partners

MSPA Americas

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Manufacturers

NetChoice

Private Care Association

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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