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Make your voice heard on pending legislation to upend independent contractor test

Advocacy News, Updated — Aug. 16, 2023 

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a series of bills that will devastate the way that businesses of all sizes and types use independent contractors within their operations.

What’s happening: As the legislature returns to Lansing for its fall session, it’s likely they will try to take up House Bill 4390 and companion legislation to institute a California-style “ABC test” and force workers into a traditional employer-employee relationship. Under the expansive test, which presumes workers are employees, it will be very difficult to classify workers as an independent contractors.

Why it matters:

  • The bills will have a harmful impact on job providers and the workers businesses rely on, from sales, real estate and medical professionals to truck drivers and ride share providers, hairdressers, freelance writers and designers, to construction, accounting and legal professionals to an array of gig workers and more.
  • California, which adopted similar legislation in 2019, had to pass an emergency measure less than a year later, ultimately exempting more than 100 professions. Voters added more exemptions in a 59-41% ballot measure. And another clean-up bill is now being considered to exempt even more professions.
  • The Michigan proposal contains no exemptions — not even business-to-business relationships. And even if it did, it seems ill-advised to follow California’s example, which has proven messy, prolonged and controversial – putting workers’ livelihoods in limbo and increasing costs.

What you can do:  Take action today to contact your state representative in Lansing and tell them to oppose HB 4390.  Now is the time to tell them this proposal is bad for business and it’s bad for workers. If the Legislature forces more individuals into a strict, traditional employment model, individuals lose control over how, where and when they work and carry out their duties. And it diminishes opportunities to start a business, take on a side hustle or take on multiple jobs to maximize income.

Read the Chamber’s commentary on how this legislation threatens workers’ earning and flexibility.

We’ve created a sample letter you can use to contact your state representative asking them to oppose these bills.  Please feel free to include your own message.  Act today!