Sunday, November 19, 2017
Salon, Overlooked Passage in GOP Tax Bill Would Gouge Gig Economy Workers:
The Republican tax bill now in Congress would imperil many of the last century’s hardest-won labor rights for workers by building a new legal wall between businesses and so-called gig economy workers that absolves management of many obligations owed to employees, according to law school professors tracking the bill.
“There is an important battle going on right now in labor and employment law over the appropriate classification of workers in the gig/platform/sharing economy,” wrote Boston College’s Shu-Yi Oei and Diane M. Ring for TaxProf Blog from Pepperdine University School of Law. “At stake in the fight are the rights of workers to collectively bargain, and to overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor laws, and family and medical leave. The battle also holds implications for application of health and safety regulations and anti-discrimination laws. Employee classification confers many of these protections. Independent contractor classification does not.”
The GOP's tax reform legislation doesn’t just reconfigure tax brackets, tax rates and tax breaks; its fine print contains provisions long sought by various industry sectors. One of these is language lifted from a prior House bill called the New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth Act, or NEW GIG Act. That legislation, which the Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation last week suggested was added to the Senate draft of the tax bill, clarifies “worker classification” and income-reporting responsibilities in five major ways, the TaxProf Blog said. ...
Republicans in Congress are poised to rewrite key labor and tax law in a manner that puts corporate interests above workers, erodes long-standing workplace protections, and withholds earnings as employers currently do for employees — yet legally, these workers would not be considered employees.