Issue of independent contractor classification goes on: Staffing Word of the Week

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November 23, 2021

Questions surrounding whether workers should be classified as independent contractors continue, and the issue is heating up in Massachusetts. In that state, a group called the Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work is backing potential ballot measures that would allow drivers for firms such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to remain independent contractors. Last week, it announced that it had submitted 260,000 signatures to local clerks in Massachusetts as part of the process for putting it on an upcoming ballot.

The proposed ballot measure would also establish an earnings floor equal to 120% of the Massachusetts minimum wage and platform companies would be required to pay healthcare stipends to drivers who work at least 15 hours per week.

Another group, the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights, is opposing the measures.

The measures are similar to legislation in California called Proposition 22, which aimed to keep drivers for Uber, Lyft and other platforms as independent contractors. That law was found in violation of the state constitution in August, but an appeal has been filed.

The question of independent contractors also came up during the Healthcare Staffing Summit earlier this month in Boston.

With the focus on independent contractors, it’s also the Staffing Word of the Week. For the full definition of independent contractor, please see Staffing Industry Analysts’ online Lexicon.

The Lexicon is free and contains the definitions of other workforce solutions ecosystem terms.

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