Center for American Progress Report Looks to States and Localities for Mandates on Independent Contractor Benefits

October 20, 2017

Responding to the growth of the gig economy, the Center for American Progress recently released a report advocating that state and local governments enact policies applicable to independent contractors that are similar to various mandates given under the NLRA and FLSA.  Specifically, the report urges cities and states to create policies that:

  • Create a wage threshold for all independent contractors;
  • Mandate employer contributions to benefits to independent contractors that would not be factored into employment tests; and
  • Allow independent contractors the ability to negotiate for industry-specific wages and benefits.
By contrast, the Association's Workplace 2020 Report suggests granting flexibility by means of legal "safe harbors" to employers who would want to provide benefits to independent contractors but are discouraged from doing so due to liability issues under the outdated legal architecture that now governs the workplace.  Our report notes, "By thus freeing up employers' ability to improve the lives of workers—whether their own or those working on a contingency basis—the overall goals of our employment laws of enhancing the welfare and ensuring the protection of our workforce would be substantially promoted."