Backgrounder

Helping Gig Economy Workers Act

Tags:

Coronavirus, gig economy, Independent Contractor, Joint Employer

Bill name: Helping Gig Economy Workers Act
Bill sponsor: H.R. 6988, Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
S. 3773, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)

Summary: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Helping Gig Economy Workers Act” would allow companies in the digital marketplace to provide paid leave, training, and other assistance like personal protective equipment (PPE) to independent contractors without penalizing the worker or company or threatening their independent contractor legal status. Additionally, providing those benefits and assistance to gig economy workers could not  be used as evidence against a company to qualify them as a joint employer.

The provisions in the bill are tailored specifically to gig economy workers by defining them as “those accepting or rejecting job requests through an online-enabled application or platform provided by a digital marketplace company and providing services to consumers in exchange for compensation.”  Under current federal and state laws, gig economy workers are not able to receive such benefits while also maintaining their status as an independent contractor.

“As [a]Main Street Entrepreneur who has created hundreds of permanent jobs and have hired temporary contract workers, I know this legislation will let businesses like Uber, Lyft, and others provide COVID-19 assistance through financial assistance, cleaning materials, hand sanitizer, and other goods without being penalized for their goodwill.” -Sen. Mike Braun

These safe harbor provisions would expire on June 30, 2021 or at the conclusion of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Bill Status: The “Helping Gig Economy Workers” Act was introduced in the Senate and House in late May, 2020. Bill sponsors have encouraged Congressional leadership to include it in the next COVID-19 response bill.

 

Click here to download the backgrounder. 

Also related:  Five Pro-Worker Polices to Jumpstart the American Economy

Also related:  Modern Worker Empowerment Act

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

PRESS RELEASE: Representatives Miller & Cuellar join with Senators Braun, Loeffler, Cassidy & Scott to introduce the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act of 2020
May 22, 2020, Miller.House.gov
https://miller.house.gov/media/press-releases/representatives-miller-cuellar-join-senators-braun-loeffler-cassidy-scott

PRESS RELEASE: Protecting Job Creators, Entrepreneurs During COVID-19
May 22, 2020
House Committee on Education and Labor Republicans
https://republicans-edlabor.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=406962

BLOG: Protecting Independent Contractors During COVID-10
April 10, 2020
House Committee on Education and Labor Republicans
https://republicans-edlabor.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=406938

NEWS: Republicans introduce bill to create legal ‘safe harbor’ for gig companies during the pandemic
May 20, 2020, The Hill
Chris Mills Rodrigo
https://thehill.com/policy/technology/498855-republicans-introduce-bill-to-create-legal-safe-harbor-for-gig-companies

OP-ED: Put entrepreneurs, workers and flexibility in the next stimulus package
May 11, 2020, The Hill
F. Vincent Vernuccio
https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/496569-put-entrepreneurs-workers-and-flexibility-in-next-stimulus-package

PRESS RELEASE: Survey: Independent workers love how they work; Concerned about interventions from policymakers
June 10, 2020
Coalition for Workforce Innovation
https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/afca31c0-5c41-4b51-a572-dc8f062842f4/downloads/CWI%20Data%20press%20release%20final.pdf?ver=1591808798807

###

Download PDF