WASHINGTON — Senator Mike Braun, Senator Pat Toomey, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Senator Richard Burr, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Senator Mike Crapo, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calling on the agency to respect their congressionally-set boundaries when making rules regarding independent contractor classification.
In the letter, sent to Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC, the Senators urged the agency to reject recent calls to use its authority over the investment space to forcibly reclassify workers who have chosen to be independent contractors.
The Senators write:
“We write to urge you to respect the jurisdictional boundaries of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as established by Congress during upcoming rulemakings on human capital. Recent calls for the SEC to use its limited authority over the investment space in order to forcibly reclassify workers who have intentionally chosen to be independent and subcontracted workers is entirely unrelated to the mission of the SEC.”
The letter goes on to explain why the SEC has no jurisdiction over independent contractor status, with labor considerations being explicitly the dominion of the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and, as it relates to taxes, the Internal Revenue Service.
The Senators conclude:
“In closing, we would urge the SEC to reject calls to inject social engineering of the nation’s workforce, requests that also distract the SEC from its core mission—especially at a time when employers are struggling to find workers. It is critical for our federal policy framework to support a variety of choices for individuals when it comes to employment. Whether individuals choose to be independent contractors, direct employees, or subcontractors, preserving their freedom to choose is pro-worker and enables individuals to choose the path that best fits them and their families.”