Letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House; Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader; Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader; Majority Whip James Clyburn; and Minority Whip Steve Scalise - Reps. Miller and Foster Lead Bipartisan Letter to Support Gig Economy Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic


Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Leader McCarthy, Whip Clyburn, and Whip Scalise:

As Congress considers additional measures to protect the public and bolster the nation's economy during this public health emergency, we urge you to advance additional policies to expand immediate support to all workers, regardless of work structure. As federal lawmakers, we have a responsibility to encourage companies to protect and support impacted independent workers and to facilitate steps taken by those companies that are doing the right thing by providing workers with additional support during the pandemic.

There are hundreds, and in many cases thousands, of "gig economy" workers in each of our districts who enjoy the flexibility of primary and supplementary independent work. Several of the platform companies through which our constituents perform work have already pledged to provide them with sick leave and other support during this public health emergency. For instance, ride-sharing companies have committed to provide compensation to drivers sidelined due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, quarantine, or temporary account suspension.

The support pledged could be critical for two reasons. First, the pledged support would provide impacted independent workers with immediate financial assistance and liquidity during this emergency. Second, they eliminate economic incentives for workers to ignore symptoms or recommended quarantine because they cannot afford to take necessary leave and would therefore otherwise share that risk with others. It is commendable that these companies recognize the seriousness of the situation and have taken steps to advance overall public health and economic stabilization efforts. As federal leaders, we should ensure that companies can continue this level of support during this emergency by providing a limited "safe harbor" for the duration of this public health emergency for companies that provide this direct benefit to independent workers. This would provide legal clarity for those companies that provide this voluntary benefit.

Our offices are recommending a legislative remedy to ensure that during this emergency, this support can continue unabated. It should be noted that this would come at no cost to the federal government or taxpayers. We strongly urge you to include this measure in any imminent legislative package to provide these workers, and the American public, with legislative clarity and economic support during these uncertain times.