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As new labor rule goes into effect, independent contractors satisfied with job status

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A new survey released by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce indicates that most independent contractors in the state are satisfied with their current employment arrangement.

Impact Research surveyed 600 Illinois residents and found that 63% of independent contractors in the state would oppose being reclassified as employees.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce Chamber President and CEO Lou Sandoval said the contractors all have different stories.

“They range from being somebody that’s between jobs to somebody that chooses the flexibility of being able to work as an independent contractor because they either have adult-care needs or maybe they have child-care needs at home. It’s a life choice, I think, for most of them,” Sandoval said.

The survey showed that full-time employees are less likely to be extremely satisfied with their jobs than independent contractors are.

The U.S. Department of Labor has enacted a new Independent Contractor Rule that goes into effect Monday (March 11).

The new rule will begin using a six-factor test to determine independent workers’ legal protections and compensation.

The Center Square previously reported the six factors are any opportunity for profit or loss a worker might have; the financial stake and nature of any resources a worker has invested in the work; the degree of permanence of the work relationship; the degree of control an employer has over the person’s work; whether the work the person does is essential to the employer’s business; and a factor regarding the worker’s skill and initiative.

For independent contractors, Sandoval said these workers don’t want to be reclassified as employees.

“It’s well-intended that everybody is trying to help the independent contractor, but what we’re hearing loud and clear from them is that, ‘you know what, we’re actually doing OK.’ We don’t mind this arrangement,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval added that the efforts to organize independent contractors are simply not necessary.

“It’s a solution in search of a problem. At the end of the day it’s well-intended, but I’ll go back to that: it’s truly a solution in search of a problem,” Sandoval said.

Also in the survey, voters said that reclassifying independent contractors would result in lost jobs and decreased pay.