Concern Grows in California for Travel Agent Independent Contractor Status

Travel Agency

From TravelMarket, Richard D’Ambrosio discusses concerns about whether travel agents in California will continue to be independent contractors. Richard writes:

 The California Coalition of Travel Organizations [CCTO] has issued a “call to action,” urging California travel agencies, tour operators and independent agents to contact their state senators and assembly members to resist calls for new legislation that might tighten up the rules for employing independent contractors (ICs).

“Please take action today to preserve the independent model that has existed for decades and provides opportunities for thousands of small business owners,” CCTO said in its call-to-action memo distributed recently. The memo also provided rosters of state legislators and an example of a letter agents could adopt and customize.

The email campaign, from CCTO President Diane Embree, said, “California legislators are considering legislation to enact new laws determining when workers are considered ‘independent contractors’ and when they are considered ‘employees.’”

“The request is that state senators and assembly members take action to ensure that legislation addressing the Dynamex decision clearly states that independent agents under the state’s Seller of Travel Law are independent contractors,” CCTO said.

Independent contractor status “at risk”
Agent/IC relationships are “now at risk due to a recent court decision. The ‘B’ criteria established in the California Supreme Court’s April 2018 Dynamex decision would result in these small business owners being considered employees,” CCTO said.

“Since the inception of the California Seller of Travel Law 25 years ago, this state consumer protection law has acknowledged independent agents — who are primarily women and are all small business owners — as an integral part of the travel industry,” the CCTO told its agents in its recent memo.

CCTO noted how ICs set their own hours and schedules, set their own rates, select the customers with whom they will work, select and market their own brands, may choose to affiliate with more than one host agency, select the services they desire to sell, may decide to specialize in specific types of travel services, and select the service providers whose products they desire to sell.

“Few, if any, of these important factors would be available to these independent small business owners were they to be forced into an unwanted employee relationship. CCTO estimates there are tens of thousands of persons who are providing travel services as small businesses in conformance with the Seller of Travel Law,” the memo said.

Read the full story at Concern Grows in California for Travel Agent Independent Contractor Status

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