Over 2,500 freelancers from various professions, including writing and truck driving, have united under the banner of Fight For Freelancers to file a lawsuit against the Biden Administration.
The lawsuit targets a new U.S. Department of Labor rule that pressures businesses into categorizing independent contractors as employees, a move that the coalition argues is antithetical to how many workers want to engage in the work force.
Wilson Freeman, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, said the new Biden rule is too vague.
“The Labor Department’s new classification rule blurs the line between independent contractors and employees. This not only confuses businesses but also poses a threat of severe civil and criminal liabilities,” Freeman stated. The rule’s vagueness, he said, leaves businesses in a state of uncertainty, with only the Department of Labor having the clear authority to determine the nature of a contracting relationship.
The Fight For Freelancers coalition lawsuit is the first to be filed agains the Biden anti-gig-economy rule. The freelance workers who filed the lawsuit in Georgia on Tuesday afternoon say the Biden rule violates the U.S. Constitution.
Kim Kavin, one of the litigants, said, ““Opposition among independent contractors to this proposed rule change has been widespread and overwhelming—just as they were with previous state and federal legislative attempts to limit the choice of self-employment since 2019. Misclassifying us as employees is not protecting us. It is attacking us and attempting to destroy our chosen careers.”
The rule is to take effect on March 11 and will impact millions of contractors in America, driving up labor costs for businesses that use contract labor, including healthcare and app-based “gig” services like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. It may also impact freelance writers, who have said that the Labor Department ditched a much more independent worker-friendly Trump Administration rule that was accepted by both businesses and freelancers.
That Trump-era rule said the factors used to classify workers included the degree of control that a company exercises over a worker’s daily work schedule.
The new rule includes things like how permanent the work is, the degree of skill needed, the initiative required, and if the work performed is at the core of the company’s business.
The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary injunction while the lawsuit, Warren v. U.S. Department of Labor, goes through the courts.