April 15, 2024

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman Introduces Gig Is Up Act to End Exploitation of Gig Workers

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) introduced the Gig Is Up Act, which would push companies to treat gig workers fairly. 

The bill would require companies with at least $100 million in revenues, and that employ at least 10,000 independent contractors, to pay for both the employer’s and the worker’s payroll tax contributions to Social Security and Medicare. Under the current system, the gig worker must pay for both.

This new requirement for large companies would create an incentive to accurately classify these workers as employees, instead of forcing workers to shoulder the entire burden.

“These people work hard. They generate millions of dollars in value for large tech companies, but they’ve been denied the basic benefits afforded to traditional employees,” said Rep. Watson Coleman. “Wealthy corporations have abused the system and these workers, who often struggle to support their families. ‘Honest work for fair pay.’ That’s the deal. This legislation ensures corporations hold up their end of the bargain.”

“It's shameful that companies continue to misclassify their workers to avoid providing them with essential benefits,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) “We must close the legal loopholes that allow massive companies to continue these exploitative practices. That's why I'm so proud to join Congresswoman Watson Coleman in support of this critical legislation.”

“For too long, large companies and multinational corporations have taken advantage of workers based on their classification as independent contractors," said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). "Today we say the gig is up! I am proud to join my friend and colleague Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman in introducing the Gig Is Up Act to ensure that companies prioritize people over profits by paying workers fair compensation and providing the benefits that they have earned."

"Every employee in this country deserves a living wage and sufficient benefits for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Shri Thanedar (MI-13). “Currently, millions of gig workers like ride-share drivers, food delivery workers, and more are being taken advantage of by their corporate employers. By finally forcing billionaire CEOs to pay their fair share, every worker can get what they deserve!"

"Big companies like Uber and Lyft keep profits to themselves by misclassifying their workers, shirking all responsibility for benefits and decent wages in favor of precarious gig work,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “This is a targeted and malicious practice that leaves workers shouldering what should be a large corporation’s obligation to contribute their share of payroll taxes to Social Security and Medicare. The Gig Is Up Act confronts this injustice by pushing these companies to treat their workers as employees, with all the rights and respect that affords them. American families can’t build a decent life by cobbling together gig work — it’s time for big employers to pay their fair share."

“NEA is proud to endorse the Gig Is Up Act which would rightfully place the responsibility for payroll taxes on the multimillion dollar corporations not their gig workers. It’s unconscionable that the gig workers who have made these companies successful are responsible for paying the corporation’s share of payroll taxes,” said Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations at the National Education Association. “It’s time for these corporations to step up and treat their workers who are essential to their existence with respect.”

"Social Security Works is proud to support the Gig Is Up Act. This legislation takes much-needed steps to hold corporations accountable for exploiting their workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors,” said Executive Director Alex Lawson. “By requiring these corporations to pay their fair share into Social Security and Medicare, the Gig Is Up Act ensures that workers will receive their earned benefits. Thank you Rep. Watson Coleman for fighting for working people!"

“Large tech corporations like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have been chasing profit by paying dangerously low wages, denying people a meaningful voice in their working conditions, and shirking their responsibility for paying into social insurance funds that contribute to the safety and well-being of the working people they depend upon— workers who are disproportionately immigrants and people of color,” said Laura Padin, Director of Work Structures at National Employment Law Project (NELP). “NELP applauds Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman for reintroducing the Gig Is Up Act and requiring large corporations to contribute to Social Security and Medicare for the working people who are essential to their businesses.”

“Congress should pass the Gig Is Up Act to ensure Medicare and Social Security benefits are adequately funded by large employers who retain gig economy workers,” said Trudy Goldberg, chair of the National Jobs for All Network. “It’s shocking and unacceptable that large companies are currently allowed to misclassify workers and evade their ethical responsibility to provide the adequate retirement and medical benefits that all workers deserve.”

The Gig Is up Act is cosponsored by Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), André Carson (IN-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Summer Lee (PA-12), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), and Robert Menendez, Jr. (NJ-08).

It is supported by: Social Security Works, Transport Workers Union of America, Communication Workers of America, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, People’s Action, National Employment Law Project, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, National Jobs for All Network, Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

The Gig is Up Act can be read here.