Mark Hanna Quoted on Washington State Independent Contractor Law

May 13, 2022

Murphy Anderson partner Mark Hanna was quoted in a Law360 article, stating that Washington State’s new hybrid worker classification law creates a “permanent underclass” of workers. The Washington State law provides some additional protections for independent contractors, but denies them the traditional benefits of being an employee, including the ability to join a union, employee benefits, and protection from wage theft and discrimination. “You are making a permanent underclass of workers who are really employees under the traditional tests but are going to be classified as independent contractors and not get the rights they deserve,” Hanna told Law360. 

Hanna also noted that the Washington State law could create additional confusion and possible litigation because it would conflict with broader protections of the Fair Labor Standard Act. “It’s going to create a false sense of security. The same factors that you would go through under the FLSA still apply and if you suffer and permit somebody to work, they are an employee. Washington State doesn’t have a magic wand to undermine the FLSA.”

Hanna urged the U.S. Department of Labor to adopt a version of the ABC test, used in California and other states, which requires businesses to show that their workers are not employees using a three factor test.