CEI Joins Coalition Letter to Support H.R. 3825, the Harmonization of Coverage Act of 2017
The Honorable Virginia Foxx
Chair, Committee on Education and the Workforce
Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, DC 20515-3305
The Honorable Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
Ranking Member, Committee on Education and the Workforce
Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4603
The Honorable Bradley R. Byrne
Chairman, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Committee on Education and the Workforce
Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0101
The Honorable Mark Takano
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Committee on Education and the Workforce
Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0541
Re: Support for H.R. 3825, the Harmonization of Coverage Act of 2017
Dear Chairs Foxx and Byrne and Ranking Members Scott and Takano:
On behalf of the Coalition to Promote Independent Entrepreneurs, a national coalition of trade associations, companies, and independent entrepreneurs that support an individual’s right to work as an independent entrepreneur, we are writing to express our strong support for H.R. 3825.
The current patchwork of more than 10 different definitions for the term “employee” for purposes of federal and state statutes creates significant uncertainty for legitimate independent contractors and their clients, which impedes their ability to do business with each other. This creates an unfair playing field that discriminates against legitimate independent entrepreneurs, and stifles economic growth.
Independent entrepreneurs represent a material segment of the American workforce and contribute hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the American economy. They deserve legal certainty concerning the contractual relationships they enter into with their clients.
Proper worker classification is important to the economy. The ability of government agencies to ensure that individuals are classified properly would be facilitated by a harmonized the definition of employee for purposes of relevant laws.
H.R. 3825 would achieve a harmonized definition of the term employee for purposes of federal statutes. It would conform the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to the other New Deal statutes that were enacted during the same era that all now follow a common-law definition for the term employee. And it would conform the FLSA to the more recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that adopt a common-law test for the term “employee” for purposes of statutes, such as the FLSA, that define the term with a definition that is circular.
The sooner that action can be taken to harmonize this definition, the sooner our nation’s independent entrepreneurs will be liberated to compete on a level playing field and maximize their earnings. And companies will then be able to decide whether to engage legitimate independent entrepreneurs based on business needs, rather than avoiding regulatory risks. Once this occurs, the overall economy can begin to operate more efficiently and potentially grow at faster rates.
We respectfully urge you to support this bipartisan bill and urge passage during the 115th Congress. Thank you for your consideration.