Scott, Colleagues Introduce Helping Gig Economy Workers Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), , and Congresswoman Caroline Miller (R-WV) will introduce the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act, which will allow businesses to provide contractors with employee assistance without being penalized by miscategorizing them as full-time employees.
“In the wake of COVID-19, our recovery will be powered, in part, by independent contractors and the gig economy,” Senator Tim Scott said. “The Helping Gig Economy Workers Act will ensure that businesses can offer the proper support to people working every day to deliver food, offer transportation to those who might not otherwise have access to it, and provide a variety of other goods and services. From Uber and Lyft drivers, throughout the entire gig economy, many workers prefer their independent contractor status, and keeping that intact is absolutely critical.”
“As Main Street Entrepreneur who has created hundreds of permanent jobs and hired temporary contract workers, I know this legislation will let businesses like Uber, Lyft, and others provide COVID-19 assistance through bonuses, cleaning materials, hand sanitizer, and other goods without being penalized for their goodwill,” said U.S. Senator Mike Braun. “Bottom line: this commonsense bill will provide a safe harbor for businesses who want to help the temporary and service workers helping us during COVID-19.”
The Helping Gig Economy Workers Act permits digital market place companies to provide, through the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, payments, health benefits, trainings, and PPE to users of the their digital marketplace without it being used as evidence in any federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation for the purposes of determining whether a user is considered an employee or independent contractor or the company is considered a joint employer.
The Helping Gig Economy Workers Act defines a digital market place company as a business entity affecting commerce that maintains an online-enabled application or platform to facilitate the exchange of goods or services by users of the online-enabled application or platform; licenses access to an online-enabled application or platform to facilitate the exchange of goods or services; and does not require a licensee using the online-enabled application or platform to generate business to accept any specific job request as a condition of maintaining access to the entity’s online-enabled application or platform.
The Helping Gig Economy Workers Act defines an individual accessing work through a digital marketplace company as someone who is provided with the option to accept or reject job requests through an online-enabled application or platform maintained by a digital marketplace company and provides services to digital platform consumers upon connection through a digital network maintained by the digital marketplace company in exchange for compensation or payment of a fee.