The lobbying powerhouse Ballard Partners swayed lawmakers to add a new section to the state’s labor law that mirrors the exact business model of one of its online-based clients.
The amendment language clarifies that those hired to do work through an online-based or mobile-app company are treated as independent contractors and not employees, and lists the exact household and handyman work services offered by Handy Technologies.
The change will not change workers’ compensation or healthcare requirements for those who currently receive them. It would just clarify that if an online-company is not paying those now to a contract worker, it doesn’t have to pay them in the future.
“We are pleased the Legislature continued to support the emerging marketplace contractor economy,” said Chris Dorworth, who is representing Handy Technologies as a registered lobbyist for Ballard Partners.
Uber is also in support of the change.
Bradley said he did meet with the firm and that the intent of the amendment is meant to clarify a “disguise in existing law” and would encourage “free-flow economic activity” in the state.
“I spoke with that firm, but it is consistent with where I have stood in this issues, like I have with Uber,” Bradley said.
“It was a natural fit for me,” he added.