The Texas Workforce Commission has approved a rule allowing the classification of “marketplace platform contractors” — those hired through digital apps such as Uber — as independent contractors.
The state agency had been accused of drafting the rule using language lifted directly from proposals lobbyists sent to commission officials, Houston Public Media reported, and advocates had been calling on the state agency to withdraw the rule.
According to the rule, the following nine factors must be met in order for independent contractor status to apply.
- All or substantially all of the payment paid to the contractor shall be on a per-job or transaction basis.
- The marketplace platform does not unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which the marketplace contractor must be available to accept service requests from the public (including third-party individuals and entities) submitted through the marketplace platform’s digital network.
- The marketplace platform does not prohibit the marketplace contractor from using a digital network offered by any other marketplace platform.
- The marketplace platform does not restrict the contractor from engaging in any other occupation or business.
- The marketplace contractor is free from control by the marketplace platform as to where and when the marketplace contractor works and when the marketplace contractor accesses the marketplace platform’s digital network.
- The marketplace contractor bears all or substantially all of the contractor’s own expenses that are incurred by the contractor in performing the service or services.
- The marketplace contractor is responsible for providing the necessary tools, materials, and equipment to perform the service or services.
- The marketplace platform does not control the details or methods for the services performed by a marketplace contractor by requiring the marketplace contractor to follow specified instructions governing how to perform the services.
- The marketplace platform does not require the contractor to attend mandatory meetings or mandatory training.