On June 29, 2022, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) hosted an online “Worker Open Forum” event, specifically to “hear diverse perspectives from those who may be affected by employee or independent contractor classification.” They invited independent professionals specifically to present written and public comment, and as an Independent Women’s Forum storyteller, I was asked to lend my voice. At that time, the Senate was still trying to pretzel the PRO Act into some bill in order to get it to pass, but because of the outcry and advocacy from a vocal number of those 54 million independent professionals in the U.S., they were not succeeding.

I completed my online comment thusly:

“The PRO Act wants to rob me of not only my autonomy and my intellectual property, but it wants to enslave me into a system that does not work for all people. This administration’s attempt at robbing me of not only my freedom of choice, but assuming it knows what is best for me as a Black woman, is not only paternalistic, but it’s inherently racist.”

Many other independent professionals called and submitted written statements to USDOL, but by the end, we all saw the clear agenda of the USDOL, and it had little to do with listening or considering.

There was much misdirection in terms of the online rooms in which the forum would be occurring, so there were two different conversations happening in two different online spaces. Then on a different date, the USDOL had another backdoor session that was not advertised, and did not include independent professionals, but union activists and Labor leaders.

We hope someone decides to leak that tape, too.

Thee months later, and countless “input” from independent professionals to the USDOL on how the PRO Act and restrictive changes to the IRS rule will affect contractors and small business, the United States Department of Labor has chosen to ignore it all and make changes to the Independent Contractor Rule that re-classifies them as employees.

What did all that “listening” and input result in?

Abso-effing-lutely nothing.

From Reuters:

The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule on Tuesday that would make it more difficult for companies to treat workers as independent contractors, a change that is expected to shake up ride-hailing, delivery and other industries that rely on gig workers.

Gig company stocks were hammered on the news, with Uber (UBER.N), Lyft (LYFT.O) and DoorDash (DASH.N) all falling at least 10%. Groups representing employers quickly criticized the rule.

Here’s the problem with the legacy media’s coverage (when is there not a problem with this bunch?): It’s not just about Uber and Lyft! Businesses as large as Apple, and as small as your corner market, hire independent contractors. It has been in the fabric of doing business for decades, and entrepreneurs and soloprepreneurs rely upon it to innovate and grow. 

So, what the Biden administration, led by Labor stooge Marty Walsh, is proposing to do is destroy the economic balance of our country by pouring more salt into the engine of the economy.

The Biden agenda to destroy America’s economy continues apace.

Your work, your choice? Not if they have anything to do with it. Government perpetually inserting themselves where they do not belong.

The proposal would require that workers be considered a company’s employees, entitled to more benefits and legal protections than contractors, when they are “economically dependent” on the company. It could have wide-ranging impacts on company profits and hiring, household incomes and worker quality of life.

The Labor Department said it will consider the worker’s “opportunity for profit or loss, investment, permanency, the degree of control by the employer over the worker, (and) whether the work is an integral part of the employer’s business,” among other factors.

The final rule is expected next year.

Most federal and state labor laws, such as those requiring a minimum wage and overtime pay, only apply to a company’s employees. Employees can cost companies up to 30% more than independent contractors, studies suggest.

Millions of Americans are working “gig” jobs and this labor has become vital to some transportation, restaurant, construction, health care and other industries.

Many independent professionals are weighing in on yet another attempt to destroy their freedoms and their livelihoods.

Sadly, because the legacy media and Labor want to keep pushing the label “gig work” and claim “misclassification” — a complicated mess that already has laws on the books covering it, Americans’ eyes glaze over, and they either ignore it, or simply yawn.

This is serious, and needs to be taken seriously. #WhatTheHellDOL indeed.