Protecting the Rights of Independent Contractors

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Credit…Illustration by Akshita Chandra/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “The ‘Gig’ Label Is Being Used to Exploit Workers,” by Terri Gerstein (Opinion guest essay, Jan. 29):

We are the freelance writers and editors Ms. Gerstein mentioned who are suing the Department of Labor over the independent contractor rule that will, as she said, “make it harder for employers to treat workers as independent contractors rather than employees.” So let us explain.

The Department of Labor acknowledges in its 339-page rule published Jan. 10 that most of the public comments made by independent contractors expressed opposition to the rule, “criticizing the Department’s proposed economic reality test as ambiguous and biased against independent contracting.”

There are now more than 70 million independent contractors, comprising a significant portion of the U.S. work force, and study after study shows that 70 percent to 85 percent of us wish to remain self-employed. The independent contractor rule is just the latest in the Biden administration’s ongoing freelance-busting assault on our rights to be in business for ourselves.

Like the vast majority of independent contractors in America, we choose self-employment. This rule, slated to take effect on March 11, will restrict our right to engage in business contracts with our clients on our own terms. We hope the district court will invalidate the rule and protect our careers.

Jen Singer
Kim Kavin
Debbie Abrams Kaplan
Karon Warren
The writers are the co-founders of Fight for Freelancers USA.

To the Editor:

Terri Gerstein conflates the gig economy model with the independent contractor model and blames it for the ills and exploitation of independent contracting and gig work.

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