U.S. members of Congress and independent contractors joined Independent Women’s Forum for a press call this afternoon, highlighting how new proposed regulations from the Department of Labor would impact the nation’s freelance workforce. Participants included Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Fred Keller (R-PA), Rick Allen (R-GA); freelancers Karen Anderson, Jennifer O’Connell, and Patrick Turnbull; Austen Bannan, senior policy analyst in employment at Americans for Prosperity; and Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at Independent Women’s Forum.

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TRANSCRIPT

Victoria Coley:

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining Independent Women’s Forum for today’s press call to hear from some very critical voices about the Department of Labor’s proposed independent contractor role and how it will hurt America’s workforce. This call is on the record and reportable, and if you do have any follow-up press inquiries, please direct those to Independent Women’s Forums Communication shop by emailing us at [email protected] To get us started on this call, I’d like to introduce Independent Women’s Forums Center for Economic Opportunity Director, Patrice Onwuka. Patrice.

Patrice Onwuka:

Great, thank you so much Victoria, and thank you for everyone for joining on the call today. You’re going to hear about the impact of the proposed employee or independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standard Act. This is a proposed rule from the Department of Labor. It’s on the flexible workforce. Now, this is a particularly important and timely topic as the extended public commenting period concludes on Tuesday, December 13th. As Victoria mentioned, my name is Patrice Onwuka and I’m the director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at Independent Women’s Forum. For those who are not familiar with our organization, you can read more about us at iwf.org. Independent Women’s Forum is the leading national women’s organization. We’re dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhanced people’s freedom opportunities and their wellbeing. Flexible work through freelancing and independent contracting, we view as one of those avenues for over 60 million workers to pursue fulfilling opportunities.

We know that about half of independent contractors are women, so any proposed regulations that would curtail independent contracting makes this a concerning issue for us. Women have always placed a higher priority and flexible work than men, and they do so for a lot of obvious reasons. Women are more likely to be caring for their kids, for the elderly or for other family members, and with long COVID still affecting millions of workers as well as other health conditions, it is often impractical, if not impossible, for them to take traditional nine-to-five jobs. Now, thanks to the dynamic economy and the tight labor force, women have more options beyond just full-time employment. We have millions of women who are independent contractors or maybe they’re working as part-time workers, they’re direct sellers, they’re even starting their own enterprises. These are non-traditional employment relationships that allow them to earn incomes and work on their own terms, setting them up to pursue their dreams and fulfill their life’s desires.

So it’s troubling that lawmakers and regulators at the federal and state levels are working against the independent and entrepreneurial spirit, by imposing these new restrictions on independent contracting. California gave us a preview of the hardship that cracking down on independent contracting could lead to with the AB5, Assembly Bill 5, law that was enacted at the start of 2020. At Independent Women’s Forum through our Center for Economic Opportunity, we launched the Chasing Work Project in 2020 to tell the stories of Californian workers who have had the rug literally pulled from under them by new government regulations. Whether or not this was well-intentioned, we had story after story pour into us by email and online of workers who are blindsided by AB5 and didn’t know how it would affect us. If you want to read some of those stories, you can go to iwf.org/ab5, watch the videos, read the heartbreaking stories. And I’m pleased to say that we’re going to hear from a few of those stories today.

Now from Santas to transcribers, women and men have lost contracts and income and businesses, even their livelihoods, due to California’s regulations on independent contracting. So it’s sad that we are now grappling with this issue at the federal level. Here today, as I mentioned, we’re going to hear from some independent contractors who’ve been impacted by similar, though not exactly the same regulations in California. But before we do that, I really want to welcome our congressional champions, people who’ve been standing up for economic freedom and flexibility coming to us from the House Education and Labor Committee. First off, I want to introduce Congresswoman in Virginia Foxx. Representative Foxx is from the great state of North Carolina. Congresswoman Foxx is the Republican leader of the House Committee on Education and Labor. She has been outspoken about the threat of anti-worker legislation such as the PRO Act. We had her on last year to talk about that. So we’re glad to have her back with us today to talk about DOL’s new rule and the harm she sees in it. Congresswoman, please unmute yourself and share with us your thoughts.

Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC):

Well, thank you very much, Patrice, I appreciate it and I appreciate all the work that the Independent Women’s Forum is doing to educate Americans. You all are really on the front lines of keeping people informed and being out front on the issues. It appears that this administration won’t be happy until it controls how, when and where you work. It’s hard to know if it’s sheer arrogance that drives this administration to think it knows better than you, or if Biden so beholden to big labor, he refuses to see what’s best for the rest of America. I think it’s a little bit of both, but this administration’s attack on independent contractors is wrong and Republicans aren’t standing for it. Many workers, especially women, have come to rely on the flexibility the independent contracting model provides. A regular nine-to-five schedule does not [inaudible 00:06:20] for every American. Forcing-

Victoria Coley:

Patrice, it looks like we lost the Congresswoman. Do you want to jump in and perhaps introduce our next speaker?

Patrice Onwuka:

No problem.

Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC):

Birth until Death.

Patrice Onwuka:

Congresswoman Foxx do we have you back? We lost you for just a couple of minutes, for a couple of seconds.

Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC):

Oh, well I have been there. I don’t know what I last said, but nothing’s happened on my end. Okay. Well, what I said is this debate’s about freedom that needs to be repeated in case you didn’t hear it. Workers deserve the freedom to choose how they work. I’m pushing back against Democrats’ assault on entrepreneurial opportunity and the Democrats’ attempt to control the lives of Americans from birth until death. I’ve seen firsthand when the federal government steps aside and allows job creators and industry leaders to innovate the workforce and U.S. Economy will thrive. We’ve had enough of the Washington knows best mentality. Remember when President Obama told Americans you didn’t build that? He ridiculously claimed that businesses need the government’s help to be success successful. And if this wasn’t bad enough, now the Biden administration is telling America’s entrepreneurs you can’t build that.

This is unacceptable and I encourage everyone on this call to get involved in the movement to resist this proposed rule. Get on the phone, call your representative and senator, submit a comment. We must put pressure on the Biden administration to withdraw this proposed rule. Enough is enough. The livelihoods of real people are at risk. Americans should be able to build the future they want for themselves. It’s time for Washington to get out of the way. But again, before I finish, I want to thank the Independent Women’s Forum for its leadership on this topic and many others. We need more people on the front lines fighting for the rights of workers. Now I’ll turn it over to Congresswoman Michelle Steel, a real star on the Education Committee, and I know she has plenty to say about what AB 5 is doing to her state of California. I’ll mute myself again. Thank you.

Representative Michelle Steel (R-CA):

Thank you, Dr. Foxx, and thank you Independent Women’s Forum putting this together and Dr. Foxx for being such a champion of independent contractors as a Republican leader of the Education and Labor Committee, and she is a big mentor for me and I’m just so grateful to serve with her in Education Committee. California is often referred to as a model for the nation by progressives. Usually that means it’s not a model of what not to do. Federal government should do exact opposite of what California does. That is exactly what is happening here with the administration’s proposed rule, the definition of employees. We’ve been at this debate for a long time and this completely misguided proposed rule really started with California’s Assembly Bill 5. AB 5 was the first ABC test in the country and it’s having devastating effects. People commonly think of AB 5 as impacting popular gig work like a Uber or Lyft, but it also has massive impact on the independent truckers that operate in California.

Our supply chains are already in shambles and AB 5 completely kneecaps the ability of these 70,000 truckers to operate and transport our goods. I’ve been incredibly vocal in calling on Governor Newsom and Sacramento Democrats to repeal AB 5. In July, I let the California Congressional delegation in sending a letter calling on him to digest that. He ignored our calls and workers in California have paid the price. Then we had the PRO Act, which was Congressional Democrats’ attempt to nationalize AB 5 it’s already failed policy, which would be absolutely disastrous. Now the administration is proposing this new regulation that will be even worse than the chaos we saw under the Obama administration. When we have skyrocketing inflation that is causing families to struggle, we should not be imposing union-backed bureaucratic regulations that make it harder for them to work. Instead, we need to be giving workers more flexibility and more opportunities to earn.

I’ve introduced two pieces of legislation to just that. The Modern Worker Empowerment Act, which I introduced with Congresswoman Ali Stefani, would be update the Fair Labor Standards Act to codify the common law definition of an employee so that we get consistency without me capping independent workers. I’m meeting that bill with Congresswoman Ali Stefani and Senators Tim Scott and Marsha Blackburn are leading the Senate version of the bill. And the second bill, the Workers Worker Flexibility and Choice Act is a bipartisan bill that would create a new work arrangement that combines the flexibility of independent work with important workplace protections and opportunity for additional benefits.

Especially in the wake of the pandemic, work flexibility is more important and popular than ever before that we all know we need to be encouraging people to earn how and where they want. There is a way to do that while still providing necessary workplace protections. My bill strikes that balance. The administration’s proposed regulation takes the absolute wrong approach. I hope that they will reconsider this rule before they further cripple our supply chain and jack up prices on hardworking American families. Now introduce Congressman Rick Allen and his career started to building his own business so he understands that how important this rule, we build this rule and we consider this rule and he’s the one actually created thousands of jobs in Georgia are more than 35 years, and he totally understands the labor issues. So here Congressman Rick Allen.

Representative Rick Allen (R-GA):

Well Michelle, I thank you so much for your work on this important and the legislation you’ve put forth. I applaud your leadership on this and just thank my good friend from California for your hard work. As my colleagues have noted, independent contractors are under attack from Biden’s Department of Labor. This is nothing new. We had the same challenge under the last term of the Obama administration when I was first elected to Congress. The pros rule issued this past year would be devastating for the 60-plus million Americans whose livelihoods depend on the flexibilities that being an independent contractor provides. I have heard from folks in my district about this proposed rule that will negatively impact their businesses. I’ve been at the forefront of this issue and worked hand in hand with Senator Tim Scott to advance the Employee Rights Act legislation we introduced in our respective chambers.

Our bill protects independent contractors, franchises, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking flexible work options. Among its many provisions, the Employee Rights Act would codify the common law definition of an employee allowing independent contractors to keep the flexibilities they currently enjoy. I sent a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh this summer urging him in no uncertain terms to uphold the rule issued during the Trump administration, which specifically protects the flexibilities that independent contractors want and need. If you aren’t an independent contractor, you may wonder why this is such a big deal. Let me tell you why. If the Biden administration succeeds in scrapping the independent contractor model, we’d be giving the federal government authority to dictate how Americans earn their living. Or at the very least, we’d be allowing the government to eliminate a perfectly valid career path that’s lifted millions of people out of poverty, grown wealth substantially in this country and helped them accomplish the American dream.

The modern workforce is entrepreneurial and our government should facilitate that spirit, not crush it under the weight of bureaucracy. Yet that’s exactly what this administration and congressional Democrats have tried to do through rulemaking and the PRO Act. Among other harmful provisions, the PRO Act would significantly narrow the definition of an independent contractor, essentially eliminating independent contractor status. Since they couldn’t pass this bill through Congress, Biden is weaponizing the DOL to circumvent the legislative process altogether. Now I’d like to introduce our next speaker, my friend Congressman Fred Keller of Pennsylvania. Like myself, Fred comes from the business world. He’s been very successful in private enterprise and he has put his business experience too good use serving Pennsylvania in elective office at both the state and federal level. Most importantly, Fred understands the American dream because he has a great story and he’s lived it. I’ll let him tell you more details and folks, it’s inspiring. He’s been a great champion for American workers, and it’s been my honor to serve with him on the Education and Labor Committee. Fred, take it away.

Representative Fred Keller (R-PA):

Thank you. Congressman Allen, representative Congresswoman Steel and ranking Member Foxx it’s really been a privilege to work with you and we couldn’t be talking about more important things than employment freedom and economic independence. And that’s really what’s at stake here. I look at since the beginning of our great republic, and I think Dr. Foxx mentioned it when President Obama said you didn’t build it, and now the Biden administration’s trying to say, we’re not going to let you build it. America’s greatness does not come from within the beltway. It doesn’t come from buildings in Washington DC or politicians. It comes from her people through the guidance of our Lord God almighty.

People have the wisdom and the ability to know what they want to do. I think about this professionals from agriculture to people and professions as accounting real estate agents, we talk about flexible work schedules and I know a lot of people that are real estate agents that are able to set their own schedules because they can determine when they do a listing, when they do showing they do all the other things. It allows them the flexibility and the independence to live their lives, raise their families, and attain the American dream. And that’s really what we’re talking about here today. And I want to thank the Independent Women’s Forum for leading on this issue and making sure that Americans are aware of what’s happening and that we get the voice out there to make sure we do everything we can to stop the Biden administration and the Democrats from taking away American citizens rights to associate and conduct business as they see fit, what best suits them.

And I don’t think this is by accident and I think they really know what they’re doing. And what they want to do, it’s easy for them to control when they do not have as many people that are independent on their own doing what they need to do. If they can classify them and group them together, then I think they think they can control them better. And that’s what this is about. And we as Americans define our government, our government doesn’t define us, and it begins with things right like this. The issues the Independent Women’s Forum are taking up the issues that ranking Member Foxx and my colleagues Congresswoman Steel and Congressman Allen are fighting for. Their legislation is outstanding, we need to stand up together united in a voice for the people for whom we work. And it’s really a privilege and an honor. I’ve realized the American dream because I was able to work and do things as an independent contractor starting my own business.

We actually hired people as independent contractors. Yes, we called and said, “Hey, we need this done or that done.” And they came and they worked on our properties or our buildings we were building, but they were independent contractors, they weren’t our employees. And it works. It’s a model that delivers goods and services to the American people every day and it does it in a way that allows people to attain employment freedom and economic independence. So I really appreciate being able to be on the call today. I look forward to the work that’s going to be done by Dr. Foxx and Reps Steel and Allen and the hundred 18th Congress to make sure that the American people have the opportunities that are provided to them in our founding documents. So with that, I will yield back, and I really appreciate the opportunity to be with everybody today. Thank you.

Patrice Onwuka:

Thank you so much, Congressman Keller. I really appreciate your comments and very big thank you from Independent Women’s Forum to you to Congresswoman Foxx, Congresswoman Steel, and Congressman Allen, we appreciate what you all are doing, what you have done so far, and how you’re going to continue to advance opportunity for Americans. So at this point I’d like to turn to one of our other speakers. We have Austen Bannan. He’s a senior policy analyst of Employment at Americans for Prosperity. He’s also a senior fellow at the Institute for the American Worker. Previously he was a legislative staffer on the hill and his work now focuses on barriers that undermine freedom of association, freedom of contract for workers and businesses. So this is squarely within his bailiwick. Austen, I’ll give the floor to you for a couple of minutes. Thank you.

Austen Bannan:

Thank you very much. I appreciate IWF for leading this today and for each member of Congress for your leadership and standing up for flexible work and independent contracting. Americans for Prosperity is committed to advancing flexible work policies not only for self-employed workers, but looking for ways to improve opportunity and traditional employment as well. And we look forward to submitting our comment and also continuing our support for a lot of the legislation that’s been mentioned. And I’d also like to encourage people to check out Institute for the American Workers Regulation Watch project at I4aw.org. You can look at regulations like this and get good background history and a lot of key details if you wish to make a public comment yourself. So all of this new DOL rule is supposedly based on the economic reality test that has been traditionally used over the decades. In reality, the Biden administration has been interested in instituting an ABC test just as California did.

And though again, house and economic realities language, just like the ABC test, this new DOL rule is geared towards reclassifying millions of self-employed Americans as employees, but in an even more arbitrary fashion. The Trump-era DOL rule that was enacted in 2021 that is in place today was very important for providing clarity to the traditional economic realities test. It first focused on and still focuses on the nature and degree of workers’ control over their work. And then second is the worker’s opportunity for profit and loss. Not only does this new rule remove the clarity around these factors by de-emphasizing them, but it also adds new interpretations to the factors, and most concerning, it directs the DOL to make its classification determination based, not just on actual control, but also theoretical control that has not been exercised or attempted. In fact, they clarified they literally were not limiting control that is actually exerted.

Furthermore, the six factors that they’re going to utilize, they’ve indicated are not exhaustive of the factors that can be used. So not only does this new test directly contrast with the claims that this would provide more clarity, it also stands to close the door for self-employment for millions of Americans because the criteria that used is aggressive and very subjective in nature. Even the ABC tests are harmful enough for their straightforward nature of undermining the ability to work independently, but this adds a additional power for DOL to utilize subjective criteria again, that isn’t even exercise. And that’s a cause for concern for people across every industry in America because independent contractors work in every single facet of America and every single [inaudible 00:24:47].

Patrice Onwuka:

It looks like we might have lost Austen for a moment there, but I think Austen’s comments are fantastic. He definitely has a lot of policy analysts of this DOL rule, and I would direct folks to the Institute for the American Worker website where he has a great primer on the DOL rule. You can also follow up with him more on his comments later. At this point, I’d like to turn to the actual people who have been impacted negatively by similar restrictions implemented in California. We’ve heard from members of Congress as well as Austen and myself talk about this negative impact, but who better to share that than people, independent contractors from the state of California who have been impacted. We have three individuals who we have profiled at IWF.

You can read their profiles and their videos at iwf.org/chasing-work-independent-contractors to learn more. But first, excuse me first among them, I’m going to introduce Jennifer O’Connell. Jennifer is a jack of all the trades. She’s a writer, a yoga instructor, and a career reinvention coach. And her world was turned upside down by Assembly Bill 5. Thank you, Jennifer, for joining us, and please go ahead and share your story with us.

Jennifer O’Connell:

Thank you for Patrice for having me. I’m Jennifer Oliver O’Connell As the Girl Turns is the corporation I was forced to it’s my brand, but I was forced to incorporate thanks to AB 5. I am not allowed to do all that I do independently unless it’s under the umbrella of a corporation and underneath contractual standards, even my writing. And sadly, even with that supposed corporation protection, if someone chooses to report me for misclassification, the EDD can still come after me. And a lot of them they’ve done that to several people. Even though they claim, well, this is the way you protect yourself and this is the way you adhere to AB 5. AB 5 has been a disaster. When it was first instituted, I was making an extra three to $5,000 a month from yoga work, whether it was lecturing for yoga anatomy or doing a yoga teacher training or certifying yoga schools.

I was working with actually a company in DC in the Virginia area doing that. And as soon as AB 5 was instituted, that work dried up and disappeared because people do not want to have to deal with companies and smaller businesses, and most of yoga is small business. They don’t want to have to deal with jumping through hoops. They don’t want to have to deal with any type of legal ramifications that could blow back on them. They just want to have someone to do the work. So not only did AB 5 cut off my income or part of my income, and I had to scramble for that, but the biggest deal is that I have to fight for pretty much every job that I have. I have to fight for my own independence. I have to fight for my intellectual property because as a writer and as a creator, anything that I have out there that has my name on it is intellectual property.

If you force me to be an employee, then it’s your property. So this going national as well as this new Department of Labor rule is just destructive to creativity. And as Representative Foxx said, it’s destructive to building. I’m building a legacy for myself as well as for my future generations. You can leave intellectual property at future generations. If I am crammed into this employee model, you’re not only taking away additional income from me, but you are taking away my ability to build a future for myself, to build a legacy and as far as I’m concerned, better the world because entrepreneurs and independent professionals and people who are the makers are the ones that improve the world and help the world to be what it needs to be and help others. We create jobs, we create industry, and it seems like the Biden administration wants to just kill that in any way possible that they can.

I agree with the legal’s representative Keller, that it’s by design, it’s planned, and they want to control people so that you’re dependent on government and not dependent on yourself. For an administration that claims that they want to level the playing field and make everything equitable and fighting racism, all this stuff, they’re frauds in their hypocrites because I thought I am a black female of a certain age and everything that they’re doing is undermining me as a woman, undermining me as an African American, undermining me as a senior, as someone who has built a whole legacy and gotten to a certain age and expected to be able to live off that and ride through that.

And sadly, we have to keep fighting to maintain who we are and what we do. So I would like to see this legislation that our representatives are introducing pass. I would like to see the rule frankly stricken if possible. And going back to Trump administration rule, because again, it’s about you taking restrictions off us, not putting more restrictions on us. And so-

Patrice Onwuka:

Jennifer, thank you so much.

Jennifer O’Connell:

… I would just like to see that. You’re welcome. Thank you.

Patrice Onwuka:

Thank you, we appreciate your comments. I thank you. You’ve hit the nail on the head. And with that, I’d like to turn to Karen Anderson, who is a third generation southern California. She’s spent 25 years as a freelancer managing editor photographer. She’s also the founder and administrator of Freelancers Against AB 5, which is an all-volunteer ad hoc group of over 18,000 members of independent contractors, small business owners in hundreds of categories and professions who’ve been affected by AB 5. Karen, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts as well.

Karen Anderson:

Thank you so much, Patrice, for having me here. Here in California since AB 5 with its strict ABC test was passed into law in September 2019, I’ve had a front row seat to the hundreds of horror stories that have come pouring into my group from across all demographics, income levels, political persuasions, and across a vast swath of professions, trades, nonprofits, and sectors. Countless individuals initially lost their careers permanently or were let go by their clients who were no longer able to legally contract with them. Desperate people shared stories with us of their lost livelihoods as their incomes were incinerated overnight. We in California are the proverbial canaries in a coal mine. Those adversely affected in some way by AB 5 include musicians, translators, interpreters, community theater groups, independent healthcare professionals, indie filmmakers, professional Santas, real estate, appraisers or rehab specialists, sign language interpreters, videographers, photographers, wedding planners, florists, event planners, opera singers, auctioneers, funeral officiants, massage therapists, forensic nurses, paralegals, court reporters, youth coaches, comedians, after-school programs, dance companies, lighting directors, magicians, makeup artists, tutors, guitar makers, creative consultants, and many, many, many more.

All told within my group, we’ve identified more than 600 categories of professions impacted in some way by AB 5 and its onerous ABC test. The same ABC test that US DOL now praises in its proposed rule, an attempt to mimic in regards to the restrictive B prong. I have witnessed firsthand each and every one of these AB 5 horror stories coming into my group. And I have conversed personally with hundreds of individuals affected adversely by the ABC test and AB 5. This law continues to wreak havoc on legitimate independent contractors and small business owners. Authored by unions and sponsored by a single assemblywoman in state legislature, AB 5 represents a scorched earth approach to policymaking, which in turn led to a sausage making after the fact scenario that has created chaos, confusion, division, favoritism, and a steady stream of shuttered careers that continues to this day.

Those with the loudest voices are with enough money to hire a lobbyist were given first consideration for an exemption, while hundredth categories of professions are now left out in the cold many having fallen through the cracks. One set casualty is a freelance transcription profession, which is all but extinct in California due to AB 5. This has impacted seniors and women who primarily dominate that field, and I have talked to dozens of them in my group. It’s heartbreaking. The U.S. DOL must heed the cautionary tale from AB 5 when crafting verbiage that mimics the B prong of the ABC test. The destruction is real. It’s not theoretical and it’s continuing to unfold in real-time as we speak. The US Department of Labor’s proposed new rule needs to be reconsidered or simply withdrawn and scrapped. Thank you so much everybody on this call for all of your hard work and your support of worker freedom in California and across the country.

Patrice Onwuka:

Terrific. Thank you so much Karen Anderson. And last but certainly not least, Patrick Turnbull. Patrick is a retired landscape contractor from Sunland, California who has worked independently as Santa Claus for 20 years. Patrick will share how restrictions have limited his ability to spread holiday cheer. Patrick, please share with us your thoughts.

Patrick Turnbull:

Well, thank you Patrice, for allowing me to add to this discussion. I must say that I’m probably the most democratic and progressive of all the speakers that I’ve heard today, but the truth is what matters to me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Republican or Democratic. But to be honest with you right now, AB 5 really does not impact my work in any direct way because Governor Newsom signed into law in September of 2020, even though AB 5 went into effect in January of that year. And it adds enough convolution and madness to this entire subject that all of the agents that I work with have been able to skate around. It’s a draconian provisions because none of the agents who have called me this season have shown the slightest regard for it. AB 2257 lists enough exceptions to AB 5’s edicts to be able to have them demonstrate good faith employment practices but just a few adjustments to their pre-2020 protocols.

Granted, AB 5 is totally draconian and as provisions like a lot of late-term capitalistic legislation is. So being the rational and logical human being that I am, it’s not a stretch to see these effects of any bill, be it liberal or conservatively driven that would long creative or handicapped or unemployed, or temporarily employed individuals who are trying to make a living utilizing their talents. It all is a mess. Now, the one personal impact that this late-term capitalistic kind of bill would have with the character of AB 5 would be on my president and immediate future, which is my need, believe it or not, to addressed my groin prostate cancer, wanting to stay on top of its growth. I’m having it removed right after the holidays. So thank you Medicare for picking up the expense of the procedure.

But even with its provisions, my Plan D coverage would leave me with about $2,000 plus copays if chemotherapy is needed depending upon its post-surgery pathological analysis. So as a retiree living mostly on my social security and seasonal Santa earnings, the costs that these bills would have me accrue would make me basically in overwhelmed debtor, and that’s a state I probably would never be able to emerge from. The last thing I need is to increase my tax burden or end up being responsible for a libelist court decision, or I would ensue an even greater financial responsibility. No thanks. No thanks at all. Thank you, Patrice.

Patrice Onwuka:

Thank you so much, Patrick. Victoria, this concludes all of the speakers that we have on deck. I’ll turn it over to you.

Victoria Coley:

Thanks. All right, Patrice. Patrick, and all of our other speakers, I want to thank everyone for joining the call who’s listening in. As you all know, this is a very critical topic that’s going to impact directly 60-plus million of America’s workforce. For more information on the DOL’s proposed independent contractor reclassification rule discussed today, I do encourage you to go to iwf.org. That is Independent Women’s Forum’s home page. If you do have any questions for any of our speakers, our communication shop will be happy to put you in touch with them. So reach out to us with an email at [email protected] Again, thanks to all of our callers.

We will be keeping an eye on the Department of Labor’s Open Docket regulatory docket. There are an overwhelming number of responses and comments there, and those comments are going to be coming in until midnight next Tuesday, December the 13th. So good thing to keep an eye out there if you have not read those comments. If you’re in the media, I encourage you to go do that. They are just gut-wrenching to see how it will impact these workers across the country and part of our hardest workers out there. But thank you. This does conclude our call form for today from the press call from Independent Women’s Forum. So thank you again to all of our speakers and to those listening.

Patrick Turnbull:

Ho ho ho.

Operator:

That concludes today’s event. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.