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letters | organized labor in massachusetts

Flawed argument misses key points about independent contractors

Finding flaws in Charles Chieppo’s argument in his Dec. 9 op-ed “The 1 percenters in Mass.? The Unions” is easy. Among the most outrageous is Chieppo’s suggestion that the Commonwealth’s independent-contractor statute interfered with his wife’s desire to afford her workers a flexible schedule. This is simply not true. The statute is concerned with the duties an individual performs and the circumstances under which they are performed. An employee can work a flexible schedule. Chieppo’s statement that her workers would be independent contractors in any other state lacks support, and ignores the application of the criteria developed under the Internal Revenue Code.

Finally, Chieppo ignores the fact that business entities often classify individuals as independent contractors to avoid payroll taxes and benefit costs while insulating the businesses from exposure under the laws protecting employees, such as the antidiscrimination law.

Marc D. Greenbaum

Boston

The writer is a professor of law and co-director of the labor and employment law concentration at Suffolk University Law School.

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