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house Bill H.R. 76

Prohibiting Class Action Lawsuits Over the Misclassification of Contractors in the "Gig Economy"

Argument in favor

Many small businesses in the “gig economy” rely on independent contractors for their operations, and they can’t afford the threat of class action suits alleging the misclassification of employees.

Ronald's Opinion
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01/16/2019
Stop All "Class Action Lawsuits. Attorneys use these to get rich pretending to "help" people as the attorney's keep most of the money in "fees"
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JTJ's Opinion
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02/02/2019
This bill does not infringe on the rights of individuals, it helps to stop predatory attorneys and preserve the gig economy industry.
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KyleCorley's Opinion
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02/02/2019
This helps protect small businesses that cannot handle lawsuits that their contractors might bring upon them.
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Argument opposed

Many businesses use independent contractors to fill important roles within the organization, and if the lines between contractors and employees become blurred those workers should be able to file class action lawsuits.

burrkitty's Opinion
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02/02/2019
Just reading the title, I knew this was sponsored by a Republican. Removing worker protections, preventing legal recourse for the little guy, protecting shady business practices. Bad stuff. The “gig economy” isn’t a good thing anyway. It never has been. It exacerbates the disappearance of traditional jobs, with the benefits and legal protections they provided. It only exists as a compensation reaction to the economic meltdown. Very few people would rather have “gigs”. The majority of people like the security of a predictable paycheck and benefits.
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Kevin's Opinion
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02/02/2019
Gig employers don’t pay any benefits and rely on “contractors” desperate for work at low wages. If an employer sets the time, place and wages, they are essentially hiring employees. By calling these employees “contractors” they avoid paying social security, unemployment and bookkeepers to insure the proper taxes are collected and distributed to the proper authorities.
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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02/02/2019
It is the employers responsibility to properly classify their employees. Employers that have breached their responsibility should have consequences.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 76?

This bill — the Protect the Gig Economy Act of 2018 — would prohibit class action lawsuits alleging the misclassification of employees as independent contractors from being filed against businesses. The right of workers to individually sue for alleged misclassification would not be impacted.

Impact

Workers who would file class action lawsuits alleging misclassification of employees as independent contractors; businesses utilizing such workers; and the courts.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 76

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This bill from the 115th Congress was reintroduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to prevent gig economy companies which rely on an independent contractor business model from facing class action lawsuits alleging the misclassification of workers who are employees.

Federal courts have ruled on several misclassification suits involving gig economy companies, finding in each that the workers involved for Grubhub and Uber were properly classified as independent contractors.

This bill has had no cosponsors in either the 115th or 116th Congresses. 


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: jetcityimage / istock)

AKA

Protect the Gig Economy Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to protect the "gig economy" and small businesses that operate in large part through contractor services from the threat of costly class action litigation, and for other purposes.

    Stop All "Class Action Lawsuits. Attorneys use these to get rich pretending to "help" people as the attorney's keep most of the money in "fees"
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    Just reading the title, I knew this was sponsored by a Republican. Removing worker protections, preventing legal recourse for the little guy, protecting shady business practices. Bad stuff. The “gig economy” isn’t a good thing anyway. It never has been. It exacerbates the disappearance of traditional jobs, with the benefits and legal protections they provided. It only exists as a compensation reaction to the economic meltdown. Very few people would rather have “gigs”. The majority of people like the security of a predictable paycheck and benefits.
    Like (168)
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    Share
    Gig employers don’t pay any benefits and rely on “contractors” desperate for work at low wages. If an employer sets the time, place and wages, they are essentially hiring employees. By calling these employees “contractors” they avoid paying social security, unemployment and bookkeepers to insure the proper taxes are collected and distributed to the proper authorities.
    Like (68)
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    It is the employers responsibility to properly classify their employees. Employers that have breached their responsibility should have consequences.
    Like (55)
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    No one should be prohibited from seeking legal redress, ever! A judge is MORE than capable of addressing a frivolous lawsuit, and assigning the defendant's legal fees to the plaintiff if its warranted.
    Like (51)
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    More benefits for big business at the expense of the average worker. This would stop folks from suing WalMart (the worst employer in the world) when they illegally classify workers to avoid paying overtime and benefits. Who do you think pays for the medical on these employees? Taxpayers. Stop supporting welfare for big business. Shaking my head that we are even having this conversation. Shame on you Congress. If you continue to destroy the middle class, the economy will tank.
    Like (34)
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    We need more accountability on the part of employers and companies, not less.
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    “Misclassification” is just another way to describe “breaking the law.”
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    "gig economy" = exploitation
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    This is just an attempt by employers to avoid responsibility for trying to screw workers!
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    How owned by UBER would a politician have to be to date introduce such a bill? Read the room. This couldn’t be more out of step with what the voters want now.
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    Don’t let companies get off the hook for treating their people poorly.
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    As wages stagnate and people take on second and third jobs to support their families, these hard workers need more protections, not fewer.
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    I do not support this bill. This only serves to allow businesses to protect themselves when they are acting inappropriately and possibly unethically. We should not be undermining the rights of workers. Should this pass, it would also incentivize using contractors over regular employees, even when the use of employees would be more appropriate.
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    Business owners are responsible for classifying their employees or independent contractors properly! If employees are wrongly classified as Independent contractors, they lose benefits and are easily taken advantage of. This is obviously beneficial for the business, not having to pay hourly, give workers comp or pay taxes on their workers. Independent contractors will suffer from this. They should be able to sue for back wages and benefits, as it it not their fault they were classified wrong. It is up to the business to know the laws and follow them, and they shouldn’t be protected for looking for loopholes to make more money.
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    This bill does not infringe on the rights of individuals, it helps to stop predatory attorneys and preserve the gig economy industry.
    Like (14)
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    When we became a plutocracy, suddenly low paying hard work became not a job—but a private contractor. My husband was a laborer who was frequently termed an independent contractor accompanied by lower pay, more pressure to work faster and faster, fewer safeguards to prevent injuries, and reminders he could be replaced any time. This Republican-sponsored bill gives plutocrats even more power . #45’s ambition to destroy checks and balances is on display with this terrible bill. Nay.
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    We should move towards protecting the workers. Big business doesn’t care about the employees, just the shareholders. If you screw over shareholders you will get sued and it will be championed by the wealthy.
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    If drivers are affected as a group, they should be able to sue as a group! There are specific legal definitions of “employee” vs, “contractor”, and if drivers are being misclassified, and it is a general issue affecting ALL drivers, there should be a class action lawsuit to confront the issue and obtain a court ruling that would cover all drivers so classified.
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    Contractors deliberately miscategorize and misclassify employees to avoid paying fair wages and benefits. It has been my experience that it is the rare business owner who will not try to cheat the system in the name of profit. Defeating this bill is a step toward honesty in that arena.
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