February 11, 2019
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Employers continue to speak up as bills take aim at independent contractors

Small-business owners and independent contractors continued to speak out last week in Olympia about a series of proposed bills that would strictly curtail independent contracting. The effects of the proposed bills include higher taxes and business costs, less flexibility and fewer options for those seeking self-employment, and possibly fewer jobs overall, since many employers would be unable to afford the cost of hiring new employees.

AWB's Bob Battles and a number of employers delved into the issue in a new edition of AWB Amplified.

"If this legislation were to go through, my life would have to be altered in many, many ways," said D'Arcy Harrison, owner of D'Arcy Hair Design in Seattle.

Among these bills are SB 5513 /HB 1515, which would substantially change the independent contractor law in the state of Washington. As written, most individuals who are currently considered independent contractors would no longer be independent contractors. Other related bills include HB 1601/SB 5690, which purport to go after the underground economy and the misclassification of employees. This legislation would adopt the same language as the independent contractor bills, essentially eliminating most independent contractors in the state.

"What's happening in Olympia right now is a big deal," said AWB's Bob Battles. "These bills would turn independent contractor laws upside down in Washington.”

The independent contractor bills still on the table in the Legislature could affect hair stylists, truck drivers, app-based drivers, plumbers, carpenters and other tradespeople, court reporters and barbers.

"These bills would hurt families," said Randy Morlan, founder of Euphorium Salon and Spa in Olympia. "In my 44 years of experience, I've seen it time and time again. When the flexibility for hours exists, people can flourish because they don't pay for child care."

To learn more and to become involved in the legislative process, contact Bob Battles.

AWB Amplified: Independent Contractors Legislation from Association of WA Business on Vimeo.

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