Fuel Smarts

Bill Would Revise Independent Contractor Status

May 24, 1999

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A bill that would revise the definition of an independent contractor is worrisome to employers and owner-operators alike.

Rep. Jerry Kleczka, D-WI, introduced a bill, the Independent Contractor Clarification Act, that would simplify the current 20-point test of contractor status down to three points.
Under Kleczka's bill, which has bipartisan support, a person is an independent contractor if he controls the way his tasks are done; if he is able to solicit and undertake other business; and if he takes on entrepreneurial risk such as profit or loss.
Trucking employers and owner-operators fear this test might muddy, rather than clarify, their relationships. Their concern is with the solicitation test. "It looks like it says you must provide services to more than one carrier," said Todd Spencer of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. "This does not reflect current carrier-operator lease programs."

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