Business & Economy

House Commerce abandons independent contractor bill

The House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development will not take any more testimony this year on the controversial bill regarding the definition of independent contractors.

The committee spent most of its committee time this year trying to work out disagreements between business lobbyists and labor unions on H.867. The committee made a last-ditch attempt to update the bill this week.

The original version of H.867 outlined six specific criteria that a worker must meet in order to be considered an independent contractor. Current Vermont law has three subjective requirements, and says independent contractors can’t perform the core work of a business.

After pushback from labor interests and House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, they wrote a version of the bill this week that would make a person’s work status dependent on a more subjective set of circumstances that are still different from current Vermont law.

Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, said the latest attempt to revive the bill did not work. “It was clear that the majority of the committee did not support the totality of circumstances decision, and so the chair pulled the bill,” she said. “He’s not going to schedule any more testimony.”

Rep. Mike Marcotte, R-Coventry, said he has been in the Legislature for 12 years and worked on the definition of an independent contractor for most of that time. He said he was “disappointed” in the outcome but appreciated the committee’s hard work.

“I don’t think it’s quite reached the boiling point yet for people to get it done,” Marcotte said. “So eventually maybe it will, or maybe it’s just one of those things that you can’t ever get to.”

Ben Johnson, the president of the Vermont AFL-CIO, released a statement on the bill. He said the labor unions “worked closely” with the committee to make the bill balance labor interests and business interests and that work “will pay dividends in the future.”

VTDigger is underwritten by:

Want to stay on top of the latest business news? Sign up here to get a weekly email on all of VTDigger's reporting on local companies and economic trends. And check out our new Business section here.

 

I Appreciate VTDigger

I want to support independent local news.

John Spencer, Arlington


Erin Mansfield

Reader Footnotes

Please help move our stories forward with information we can use in future articles.

Readers must submit actual first and last names and email addresses in order for notes to be approved. We are no longer requiring readers to submit user names and passwords.

We have a limit of 1,000 characters. We moderate every reader note.

Notes about other readers’ points of view will not be accepted. We will only publish notes responding to the story.

For more information, please see our guidelines. Please go to our FAQ for the full policy.

About voting: If you see voting totals jump when you vote on comments, this indicates that other readers have been voting at the same time.
1000
0 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
 

Recent Stories

Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "House Commerce abandons independent contractor bill"