The Labor Department said it would revisit rules that designate whether workers are classified as employees or independent contractors, a move that could affect millions of gig and contract workers in healthcare, restaurants, ride-share transportation, and many other industries.
Mish implies that treating part-timers as employees would be unfair - both to the employee and the companies involved.
When you cut away all the nonsense, this is all about five things:
Whether the employee gets “social” benefits (health, sick days, worker’s comp, retirement program and so on) that the company pays for (or is even offered to the employee to pay out of their own pocket)
Whether payroll taxes and Medicare costs are paid by the company and whether the employee can get away with “working off the books”
Who is liable if the employee causes some damage to a third party - either through negligence or incompetence - the employer or the subcontractor
Whether the payment to the employee or subcontractor is dependent on the company getting paid
The termination of a worker who is hired through a subcontractor is not subject to many of the employment protections afforded to full-time employees
I am aware of numerous instances where firms have arranged for nearly all their workers to be either direct contractors, subcontractors or part-timers (missing being full-time by an hour or two per week) specifically to avoid paying taxes and benefits. That the employee doesn’t receive a standard suite of benefits negatively impacts them and the tax avoidance negatively impacts the rest of us.
There is an implication in the US that if prices have to go up in order to provided a reasonable working wage and environment to employees that somehow people would stop buying the product or service. Based on the fact that the European countries which pay the most attention to providing for workers have the happiest populations despite their high cost of living it seems interesting that the US which has a population which sees nothing wrong with living without a safety net has one of the saddest of the industrialized nations.