Recently, it was reported by Zenefits, a human resources firm, that “the U.S. ranks last among industrialized countries relative to employee benefits like healthcare, paid leave, vacation days, unemployment and retirement.” CNBC additionally reported that “U.S. worker benefits are the Worst in the World,” adding that “The U.S. places last relative to its national policies around healthcare, unemployment, retirement, parental leave, and paid vacation and sick days.” This struck TCA Profitability Program’s Jack Porter as being very ironic.
Immediately, all I could do is compare the ongoing debate about the AB5 threat to the trucking industry. Like millions of owner-operator truckers in the United States, I am an independent contractor. These hard-working truckers have chosen to work for themselves in an industry that they love. They and I would argue that we independent contractors have done a much better job of acquiring healthcare, retirement, parental leave, vacation, and other so-called employee rights than an employer can provide. We have been right! According to the CNBC report, if the federal government is successful in mandating independent contractors as employees then we would all be subject to a complete downgrade in the benefits we currently support for ourselves. Our livelihood, our family support, and our health would now be handed over to the federal government. Well, I for one, have seen how that works out. I strongly support staying where I am and staying an independent contractor! I believe this government needs to hear from the millions of successful independent contractors that keep this country vibrant! Write or email your congressman if you want to support your current form of livelihood!
I will remind you all the suggested rules that will affect a Federal AB5 ruling! Under the ABC test a worker is presumed an employee—not an independent contractor—unless they meet all 3 of the following criteria:
(A) The worker is free from control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both in contract and in fact. — Pretty hard to leverage the vast sales opportunities that the contracted fleets have without having a connection. The model has worked successfully for the past 40 years since deregulation.
(B) The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business. — This rule would basically eliminate any opportunity for the multi-million-dollar trucking business to succeed in transporting America’s goods overnight! With the current trends in age for most of these drivers, I would assume we would have a large fallout of trucker capacity if they were forced to give up their businesses and turn into an employee.
(C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.
As I have researched this movement from the government, I am perplexed by their ambition to force us independent contractors into business servitude as an employee? I hear that these folks provide substandard benefits, and yet, they would suggest regressing to poorer benefits than we supply ourselves? I’ve heard that we work long hours for subsistence wages, well that is our prerogative and our commitment to growing our own businesses. By the way, a recent survey showed that the average truck driver was getting compensated about $25 per hour versus the federal suggested minimum of $15. So, what am I missing? Independent contractors be heard, I will be more than happy to tell your stories!