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In October 2021, The National Women’s Law Center submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Financial Services of the Massachusetts legislature, strongly opposing HB1234, “An Act establishing portable benefit accounts for app-based drivers.” This bill will enshrine the misclassification of app-based drivers as independent contractors; relieve employers such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart of a wide array of responsibilities to the drivers upon whom their businesses depend; and cut off app-based drivers from the protection and benefits of labor and employment laws.

Misclassification hurts workers by allowing employers to shirk their responsibilities and transfer business risks to individuals who are less well equipped to bear the risks, in a system not designed to provide independent contractors with support. Lawmakers should instead be seeking opportunities to build an economy that supports caregivers and all workers as we rebuild our economy from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. As detailed in the testimony, misclassifying workers as independent contractors in HB1234 will particularly hurt women, including women of color, by entrenching gender wage gaps, undermining social insurance programs, providing inadequate protections against discrimination, and preventing worker organizing.