From The Hill, Michael Mandel and Alec Stapp offer their recommendations for addressing the challenge of providing benefits to independent professionals having them without losing the flexibility they value. Michael and Alex write:
We can level the playing field for independent workers with these steps.
First, we need legislation on the tax treatment of benefits so independent workers can have the same advantages as employees. Second, we require a new universal baseline level of benefits and protections for independent workers, fully funded by those companies they work with, including a plan with a menu of options for workers to choose those benefits that make the most sense for them. These benefits would be portable. Third, we set the uniform national standard for determining who is an independent worker. Independent workers would have control over their hours of work and no agreements preventing them from working for other companies.
Companies would opt into this regulatory framework since independent workers are so diverse that it is not true that “one size fits all.” Our plan is different from the market contractor laws passed in states such as Florida, which merely specify that certain on demand workers are to be treated as independent contractors. But they do not fix the federal laws that unfairly penalize these benefits for independent workers. They also do not require companies to pay for baseline levels of benefits and protections.
We believe strongly in the importance of regulation for a strong economy. Yet we also advocate to improve regulation as essential for growth and job creation. It is time to improve regulation of the labor market to benefit the independent workers rather than the companies they work for.
Read the full story at A vision for independent workers | TheHill