President Joe Biden gave his first national speech and asked for people to join him in eradicating the coronavirus pandemic. He suggested wearing masks, even after people get their shots, because there is still much we do not know about the disease. He urged people to get their shots when they became available. As importantly, he called on us to help our neighbors, our friends, and our relatives as much as possible. It feels good to help another person. At the same time, he is blasting another despicable Donald Trump action out of the water at warp speed.
Biden’s Labor Department has started removing two rules established from the previous administration, according to Reuters. You see, Trump slipped in a big business initiative that took away federal labor protections. That put millions of workers at risk. President Biden is a strong labor proponent. He came from a working-class family and saw what could go wrong.
These rules governed whether corporations could identify the people who worked for them as independent contractors or employees. As independent contractors, the businesses could save a whole tank farm full of money. At the same time, the worker would take on those costs, i.e. health insurance.
The Biden Department of Labor planned to change:
- ‘the Independent Contractor Final Rule, passed by the agency just days before President Biden took office in January and
- a regulation issued by the Labor Department under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was largely gutted by a court decision last year.’
A Labor Department spokesperson commented:
‘The Wage and Hour Division’s mission is to protect and respect the rights of workers. Rescinding these rules would strengthen protections for workers, including the essential frontline workers who have done so much during these challenging times.’
The spokesperson continued:
‘While legitimate independent contractors are an important part of our economy, the misclassification of employees as independent contractors denies workers access to critical benefits and protections the law provides. Additionally, removing a standard for joint employment that may be unduly narrow would protect more workers’ wages and improve their well-being and economic security.’
Last year, California passed a ballot initiative to weaken state law forcing rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber, to put their people on as employees. This defeated activists’ argument that these companies get away with not providing their workers with benefits. That was when labor organizations and activists challenged the initiative as “unconstitutional.”
The House and Senate Democrats are working with President Biden in lockstep. Promo Marketing reported on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842):
‘The bill passed in the House with a 225-206 vote on Tuesday. The bill, intended to support workers in the gig economy by making it easier for them to unionize, would effectively eliminate independent contractor status on a nationwide level.’
The head of the California Labor Federation said earlier this year:
‘This unconstitutional law, which gig companies bought with hundreds of millions of dollars in political spending, is an affront to the fundamental protections and rights all workers deserve and should be expeditiously struck down by the courts.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.