Dick Durbin (no relation) and Barack Obama want to help independent contractors. Or rather, they want companies to pay more in taxes by making it harder to hire talented workers.
Yes, yes, that's not what they say they are doing, but don't be fooled - this is another attempt to raise tax collections, not help business. From their editorial in the Sun-Times:
But sadly, many working men and women are not being treated fairly because some businesses are using a little-known tax loophole to avoid paying their fair share. It's workers and American taxpayers who pay the price.
Here's how the Section 530 Safe Harbor in federal tax law works: By classifying a worker as an "independent contractor" instead of an "employee," an employer pays less in employment taxes and workers compensation, sometimes cutting costs by 30 percent. Misclassified workers have the employer's tax burden shifted onto them as if they were self-employed, meaning higher taxes for working-class Americans and a growing tax gap. These workers are also denied basic employee protections, such as workers compensation and overtime pay.
This week, we introduced legislation to close the loophole. The Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007 will allow the government to collect the taxes employers owe and will restore basic rights for workers. The legislation will also address the need for more enforcement of federal tax and employment laws to identify those employers in major industries that wrongly classify their workers.
It will be interesting to see what happens to public staffing company stock prices if this piece of legislation goes through in the name of "closing the tax loophole."