LABOR AND TRADE
One of America’s core values is everyone looking out for one another. That’s really what collective bargaining is all about, ensuring that workers get treated fairly on everything from wages to workplace safety.
For all the progress we have made over the years, there is one thing we should never forget: there are unscrupulous people who will game or cheat the employment system for their own selfish interests.
By some estimates, over three million workers are deliberately misclassified today as independent contractors by unscrupulous businesses that escape paying for the rightful benefits these workers have earned. And they avoid paying the taxes that all the honest companies are paying.
By some estimates, unscrupulous companies have already cheated the system out of as much as $34 billion. The loss of that much money to the employment system hurts everyone.
• It hurt the workers who are being cheated out of their rightful workplace protections and benefits.When honest businesses are hurt by unscrupulous competitors, we should expect that fewer new jobs will be created and fewer existing jobs will be supported.
• It hurts the fundamental protections in any collective bargaining agreement.
• It undermines the entire economy.
In effect, unscrupulous businesses are cutting the social safety net out from underneath American workers and the economy.
I introduced legislation to correct these practices. The Taxpayer Responsibility, Accountability, and Consistency Act (HR 5804) levels the playing field for honest businesses that play by the rules and ensures that employees receive the workplace benefits to which they are entitled. And it makes certain that every business properly pays its fair share of taxes to the Treasury.
There is strength in numbers and when we work together for the common good, everyone benefits.