Action Alert | Can Impasse on Employee Classification/Independent Contractor Reform be Broken?

H.867, which would make long-overdue changes to statutes defining employees and independent contractors for the purposes of workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, is caught in a political impasse in the Legislature.  AIV and our allies are working to break this impasse, but it will be critically important for employers and independent contractors to contact their own legislators, the leaders of the House and Senate, and the Governor to help move the bill.

After being approved by the House Commerce Committee, stiff opposition from organized labor led to consideration of H.867 being suspended rather than proceeding to debate and votes on the House Floor.   The bill remained suspended until Thursday, when it was formally referred back to the Commerce Committee for possible further review.

The House leadership has claimed that they don’t want to move the bill forward at this time because they are unsure that there are enough votes in the House and that the Senate is unlikely to pass the bill.  However, the truth appears to have more to do with politics than with math.  There is clearly support for the bill in the House and Senate, although the ultimate strength of that support is not yet settled.  But it appears clear that the steadfast opposition of organized labor, not the votes in the legislature or the needs of Vermonters as a whole, is the driving consideration for key leaders in the State House with an eye on campaign funding and support for November’s elections rather than the future of Vermont’s economy.

To overcome this political roadblock, AIV and allied organizations are continuing to work to identify, confirm, and grow the number of legislators willing to support H.867 and to increase the awareness of and appreciation for the need to pass the bill in the State House.  Concrete support for the bill among legislators and contact from constituents urging passage of the bill will be critical to overcome organized labor’s opposition.

Members are strongly encouraged to contact us at info@aivt.org to learn more about your options for engaging on this issue. If you use or hope to use independent contractors in the course of your operations, passage of H.867 is critical to such operations.  It would also be helpful for you to encourage independent contractors you work with or would like to work with to engage on this issue as well.

If you have any questions about H.867 or would like any supporting points or other information, please contact us at info@aivt.org.

Contacting both your Representatives and your Senators is encouraged. You can contact your legislators by leaving messages with the Sergeant-at-Arms Office at 802-828-2228 or 800-322-5616.  You can also send a fax (be sure to identify which legislator you are trying to reach) to 802-828-2424.

To identify your legislators and find additional direct contact information, you can click here.

We would encourage you to ask your legislators to:

  • Support H.867 as passed unanimously by the House Commerce Committee, without amendment.
  • Support bringing H.867 to the House Floor for a vote without referral to another committee.

Click here for contacting the Speaker of the House.

Click here for contacting the Senate President Pro Tem.

Click here for contacting the Governor.

It would greatly assist us in our efforts if you pass on to us any feedback or questions you get from your legislators.  You can contact us at info@aivt.org to let us know what feedback you get.