|January 11, 2019 02:02 PM
|Representative Fred Keller
|All House members
|Legislation That Would Provide a Method to Certify Whether an Individual is an Independent Contractor for the Purposes of Worker’s Compensation
I am preparing to reintroduce legislation (prior session HB 1781) to provide a method to certify whether an individual is an independent contractor for the purposes of worker’s compensation. As many of you have heard from constituents, there is often confusion between employers and insurers over whether an individual performing services is an employee or an independent contractor.
My legislation would allow a business to register independent contractors with the Department of Labor and Industry, if the individual is considered an independent contractor for federal tax purposes, and signs an affidavit certifying that he knows he will not be considered an employee for the purposes of workers’ compensation. The independent contractor will be allowed to withdraw his affidavit at any time.
To be clear, this legislation does not change anything for those businesses and independent contractors, who do not utilize this registration process. It would simply create a process to expeditiously determine that an individual is an independent contractor, in situations where both the employer and the independent contractor agree that no employer-employee relationship exists.
The reintroduced legislation will be the amended version of HB 1781 reported in the Labor and Industry Committee. After holding a hearing on the bill, the committee amended it to address issues raised. Notably, the amended version clarifies that the bill will not affect the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, and it provides more fully for penalties for bad actors, who deceive or threaten a worker, in order to intentionally misclassify them. Again, my legislation is intended to reduce red tape and provide clarity, in those situations where there is a good-faith agreement that no employment relationship exists – it is not intended to create a loophole for bad actors.
I hope that you will join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB622