Biden Administration Rule Change Shakes Up Gig Economy

Mia Nightshade

Updated Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 12:34 PM CDT

Biden Administration Rule Change Shakes Up Gig Economy

In a significant shift that is sending shockwaves through various industries, the Biden administration has finalized a new rule that makes it tougher for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. This rule, which replaces a Trump administration regulation deemed incongruous with U.S. wage laws and federal courts, was initially proposed in 2022 and is now being enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The impact of this change is profound, particularly for app-based services such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. Under the new guidelines, if workers are found to be "economically dependent" on a company, they must be considered employees, thereby granting them more benefits and legal protections. This development led to a significant downturn in the stock market for these companies, with shares dropping by at least 10% after the draft rule was announced in October 2022.

Critics like Marc Freedman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warn of potential economic harm due to the rule, while worker advocates and organizations like the Economic Policy Institute applaud it as a necessary step to address widespread worker misclassification. Misclassified workers in fields such as trucking, construction, and home health care face substantial losses in pay and benefits, and business groups anticipate that the rule could cause labor costs to soar, as employees can cost up to 30% more than independent contractors.

Interestingly, a recent Upwork survey indicates that nearly 40% of U.S. workers have engaged in freelance work in the past year, highlighting the rule's broad relevance. Despite expected challenges, the Biden administration's regulation seeks to redefine the modern workforce landscape.

In another significant development within the Biden administration, Mitch Landrieu, the White House infrastructure coordinator, has announced his departure after a two-year tenure that saw the investment of over $1 trillion in infrastructure projects under the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, has been an influential figure, announcing more than 40,000 projects and is expected to enter the private sector with a focus on clean energy post-departure.

His replacement, Natalie Quillian, will inherit the responsibility of continuing the administration's infrastructure push. Despite constraints faced by Landrieu due to his federal employee status, which limited his political advocacy, President Biden has praised his bipartisan and practical approach to problem-solving. Landrieu's departure also opens the possibility for him to support Biden's reelection campaign more actively.

As a seasoned public servant with a history of emphasizing racial equality and a potential future presidential aspirant, Landrieu's tenure as infrastructure coordinator was marked by extensive travel and collaboration across political divides. Despite only 13 GOP House members initially supporting the infrastructure package that Landrieu implemented, his efforts have been recognized for their nonpartisan distribution of funds, even as Republican governors criticized the law's focus on social equity, climate change, and union labor.

Landrieu leaves behind a legacy of framing infrastructure as a bipartisan issue, famously stating that there is no Republican or Democratic way to fill a pothole, and emphasizing the importance of practical outcomes over political agendas. His concern about future spending cuts by a potential Republican administration underscores the ongoing debate about the role of government in infrastructure and the balance between economic growth and social progress.

Conservative Bias:

In a brazen power grab that reeks of socialist overreach, the Biden administration has once again meddled with the free market, hammering the final nail in the coffin of American entrepreneurship. By imposing this draconian rule that forces companies to classify gig workers as employees, the administration is suffocating innovation and punishing success. This is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to swell the ranks of union memberships and line the pockets of the labor bosses who bankroll the Democrats. The stock market's reaction is a clear indictment of this policy, as it spells disaster for businesses that have thrived on the flexibility of the gig economy. It's a classic liberal move: stifle economic freedom, inflate labor costs, and kneecap companies that don't conform to their antiquated view of the workplace. And let's not ignore the convenient timing of Mitch Landrieu's exit, as he scurries off to the private sector, no doubt to profit from the very policies he helped put in place, while leaving his successor to navigate the mess he's made of our nation's infrastructure. It's a clear case of Democrats putting their radical agenda over the well-being of the American worker and the health of our economy.

Liberal Bias:

Once again, the callous disregard for the working class by the corporate elites and their Republican enablers has been dealt a righteous blow by the Biden administration's courageous stand for workers' rights. This landmark rule change is a monumental victory for the exploited gig workers who have been denied fair wages, benefits, and protections by the greedy tech moguls. The plummeting stocks of Uber and Lyft are a testament to the predatory business models these companies have built on the backs of misclassified workers. It's high time these workers received the dignity and respect they deserve, and this rule is a crucial step towards dismantling the oppressive structures that have allowed corporations to t****le on labor rights for far too long. Meanwhile, the departure of Mitch Landrieu from his role as infrastructure coordinator is a bittersweet moment; his tireless efforts to bridge the partisan divide and invest in America's future have been a beacon of hope in these divided times. His successor, Natalie Quillian, inherits a noble cause, fighting against the Republican onslaught that seeks to undermine social equity and climate action. Landrieu's legacy is one of unwavering commitment to the public good, a stark contrast to the GOP's relentless pursuit of austerity measures that threaten to derail our nation's progress towards a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Noticed an error or an aspect of this article that requires correction? Please provide the article link and reach out to us. We appreciate your feedback and will address the issue promptly.

Check out our latest stories