Biden’s Labor Department reverses Trump-era gig worker rule
The US Department of Labor withdrew a Trump-era rule that might have made it simpler for “gig financial system” firms like Uber and Lyft to categorise their employees as unbiased contractors. The reversal doesn’t change any gig employees’ present employment standing, but it surely does sign that the Biden administration is taking a much less pleasant stance towards this sector of the financial system.
The rule was finalized in early January, earlier than Biden took workplace, and would have made it harder for gig employees to be reclassified as workers below federal regulation. Over time, some gig employees have fought to be categorised as workers so they might qualify for advantages like paid sick go away, medical health insurance, and minimal wage.
Among the many causes cited for reversing the rule, the labor division mentioned it was “in rigidity” with the Truthful Labor Requirements Act of 1938 and would have “undermined” present jurisprudence on gig work within the US.
“By withdrawing the Impartial Contractor Rule, we are going to assist protect important worker rights and cease the erosion of worker protections that might have occurred had the rule gone into impact,” mentioned Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh in a press release.
Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and different firms gained an enormous victory final November with the passage of Prop 22 in California. The poll measure would exempt these firms from a state regulation that might have required them to categorise their employees as workers. The businesses aggressively opposed the regulation, arguing it might get rid of worker flexibility, whereas additionally growing client costs and wait occasions.
Biden opposed Prop 22, arguing it was an try by gig financial system firms to “intestine” California’s AB5 regulation. “It’s unacceptable,” he tweeted on Might twenty sixth, 2020.
Final yr California handed #AB5, affording gig employees protections and advantages like a minimal wage and additional time pay.
Now, gig financial system giants are attempting to intestine the regulation and exempt their employees. It is unacceptable.
I urge Californians to vote no on the initiative this November.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 27, 2020
Among the many gig financial system firms, Uber has been essentially the most forceful about taking its imaginative and prescient for the way forward for work to the nationwide stage. The corporate has lengthy advocated for a “third manner” to categorise its drivers. Final spring, within the midst of rising COVID-19 infections, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi penned a letter to President Trump advocating for federal laws that would offer drivers with sure monetary advantages whereas nonetheless classifying them as unbiased contractors. And the corporate has been lobbying for Prop 22-like legislative motion in a number of states throughout the nation.
However that could possibly be powerful to perform with Democrats in charge of the federal government. Final September, a coalition of prime Democratic officers launched a invoice that might tighten the federal check for classifying employees as unbiased contractors.
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