Oppose ESHB 1701: Misclassification of Contractors as Independent Contractors

Labor unions continue their push to enact legislation which they characterize as needed to stop underground contractors from competing unfairly. However their bill Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1701 wrongly focuses its attention on legitimate contractor practices.

Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1701 would make it a violation of the states contractor registration law to use more than two independent contractors on a work site involved on the same task – even when contractors are following the law.

This bill will not deter underground contractors -- it will only make business more difficult for legal registered contractors that pay appropriate fees and taxes. The definition of job “task” is impractical for the purpose of the bill. The bill prohibits activity that the Legislature cannot accurately define.

Current laws are sufficient to prevent the inappropriate use of workers calling themselves “independent” contractors. There is already a stringent seven part test for independent contractors to ensure theyre qualified and paying appropriate taxes and fees. AGC has emphasized better enforcement of existing law as a way to attack the underground economy without harming legitimate contractors. Contractor registration fees already generate enough money to cover this cost yet more than one-third of these fees are diverted to non-related uses.

Urge your State Senator to vote NO on ESHB 1701.