Georgia committee approves panel to study misclassification

truck driver

From the Florida Times Union, Walter C. Jones writes about Georgia legislators considering legislation to address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors instead of employees.  He writes:

Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer, the highest-elected senator, has a long history of conservativism and support for business like McKoon, but he was also troubled by what he heard.

“I’m persuaded this failure to enforce existing laws is unfair. It’s unfair to workers who are working very hard to support themselves and their families, and it’s unfair to businesses who obey the law and are then put at a disadvantage,” said Shafer, R-Duluth. “I’d like to see this addressed in a thoughtful, deliberative and forceful manner.”

Truckers told the committee they have no workers’ compensation or other benefits because they are classified as independent contractors rather than employees with the various freight-hauling companies that serve the port of Savannah.

“We have just given these people so much freedom that they have just abused us,” said 24-year veteran driver John Jackson.

Lewis Grant told how excited he was 17 years ago when he first considered himself an “owner-operator” in the trucking industry and how he relished the independence he thought that included. But the orders from the companies killed that dream, he said.

“I come in when they tell me to come in. I leave when they tell me to leave. I do what they tell me to do,” he said. “I began to realize I’m not as independent as I thought.”

Trucker Michael Alldyne said, “If they are going to treat us as employees, they need to pay us as employees.”

Stagehand Brian Hill noted that a member of his industry fell recently while installing rigging for the Super Bowl and will have no insurance paying his bills.

The committee approved Senate Resolution 11 by Sen. Lester Jackson, D-Savannah, which creates a panel to study worker classification and recommend legislation next year…..

Read the full story at Georgia truckers appeal to legislators for enhanced job protections

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