Join us for our installment of the Pacesetters Doing Business series featuring Boston Planning and Development Agency on December 7, 2023.
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Jenny Holaday will share her journey into leadership as President of Encore Boston Harbor and first woman to run a casino in Massachusetts.
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Encore Boston Harbor
Step into Winter Wonderland at our BIMA Holiday Gala. Gather your digital media and marketing peers for a night of networking and entertainment.
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
October 10, 2023
Dear Chair Cutler and Chair Jehlen,
On behalf of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and our 1,200 members, I write to offer comments regarding H.1902, An Act relative to independent contractors, and H.1904, An Act relative to the definition of an independent contractor. The business community has long lobbied for legislators to adjust the state’s independent contractor law and the need is as great as ever. Massachusetts’s rigid independent contractor law stifles job options for both workers and employers in a changing and modernizing economy. Legislators should reconsider this restrictive statute as an essential element in maintaining the Commonwealth’s competitiveness while also ensuring adequate protections for workers.
Section 148B of Chapter 149 of the General Laws creates a 3-part test for determining when a person providing services for pay is classified as an independent contractor. While the statute aims to prevent worker misclassification, in effect it prohibits the use of independent contractors in almost all instances across all industries.
Given the state’s stringent standard, businesses in Massachusetts cannot hire independent contractors to manage workloads for existing employees or respond to variable customer demands because the service would not be outside their usual course of business. The standard places Massachusetts-based businesses at a disadvantage compared to competitors in other states. For entrepreneurs, this standard can also be a barrier to entry.
The current law penalizes the workforce, too. A recent report as part of McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey indicated that 36% of respondents identified as independent workers, which would represent 58 million Americans from the representative sample.1 This demonstrates that a noteworthy share of today’s workforce is choosing independence over the structure of traditional employment. This law limits such independent work arrangements for people seeking flexible work, including stay-at-home parents looking to reenter the workforce, young professionals and students looking to gain broad experience, and older workers who want to scale back on their hours.
Furthermore, the state’s current law does not reflect a changing economy, as evidenced by the ongoing, complicated lawsuits regarding the worker classification system. “Gig work” is firmly established as a part of our economy, and current laws were drafted before such work existed at substantial levels. The result is that there are grey areas in the law that both employers and workers struggle to navigate.
Of course, worker protections have long been a priority in the Commonwealth. However, these protections are not mutually exclusive to additional workplace flexibility – especially when workers want more independence and control over a job. Particularly important as many workers and businesses continue to reevaluate the nature of work in a post-pandemic world, an outcome that stunts career and economic growth warrants a reevaluation.
I encourage the committee to issue a favorable report for these bills, or in the alternative, consider other legislative options that will improve the clarity and flexibility of our independent contractor law in collaboration with the employer community.
I appreciate the Legislature’s continuing commitment to work with the business community on public policy issues that will support a strong, dynamic economy. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to further discuss this important issue.
James E. Rooney President and CEO
Download the letter