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NCRA Government Relations launches grassroots advocacy campaign and call to action

In case you missed it, last week NCRA Government Relations launched a grassroots advocacy campaign, “Oppose the Department of Labor’s Proposed Rulemaking on Independent Contractor Reclassification!”

This campaign was launched in response to a proposed rulemaking that was issued on October 11, 2022, by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that seeks to change the test, making it more difficult to determine whether a worker is considered an independent contractor or an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

This agency rule has been proposed by the DOL as an alternative to the PRO Act, legislation that also seeks to reclassify independent contractor status and which is unlikely to pass before the 117th Congress ends.

NCRA contends that the Department’s proposed independent contractor reclassification will substantially infringe upon U.S. fair business practices, as our members currently have the option to choose to work as independent contractors or as employees in federal or state courthouses across the nation as well as in corporations. Further, if the proposed reclassification is adopted, our freelancers’ ability to choose may be eliminated as a result of unnecessary and disruptive governmental overreach, with destructive results in the marketplace. 

NCRA also argues that if adopted into a final rule, the Department of Labor’s proposed rulemaking may detrimentally and negatively affect the livelihood of our members and their families. For instance, independent contractor reclassification will likely result in mass layoffs for many freelance court reporters and captioners, as many small employer firms do not have the financial resources to afford to retain independent contractors as employees. Other consequences are equally far-reaching and destructive.

NCRA adamantly opposes the Department’s proposed rulemaking on independent contractor reclassification and is respectfully requesting that it refrain from final adoption for the following reasons: (1) the multitude of economic reality factors outlined in the rule is written so broadly that it will result in the unintentional misclassification of workers and will inflict undue financial and economic harm on our members and their families; (2) the rule will create increased costs for court reporting, captioning, and legal videography firms, which will further add to inflation and disenfranchise workers; (3) the rule denies our freelance members the flexibility to choose how they engage in the workplace; (4) the rule does not contain an exemption for professions such as court reporting, captioning, legal videography, and associated legal professionals; and (5) the Department should defer to Congress to enact narrow legislation that explicitly addresses independent contractor reclassification as it pertains to specific professions.

NCRA Government Relations encourages all members and nonmembers to visit the campaign in our Advocacy Action Center to read more about the proposed rule and to submit an official comment for public record.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on October 13, 2022, and will be open for public comment for 45 days until Monday, November 28, 2022. NCRA strongly urges court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, scopists, and associated legal professionals to submit comments in opposition to the rule. Now is the time to join together, work as a team, and take action so that we can prevent this rule from being adopted!