In light of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent announcement that it would prioritize the protection of gig workers, Tom Scroggins was quoted in a Sept. 29, 2022 article in FreightWaves providing perspective on the FTC’s focus in this area as the latest agency to weigh in on independent contractor classification.

The FTC and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had already announced in July their intentions to work together on the gig worker issue, foreshadowing the September announcement from the FTC. “It is them telling the industry and the country as a whole that they are going to be spending the next little while using their resources and efforts enforcing existing law,” Scroggins said.

He added that the Commission’s move into the area of independent contractor status is new. “The FTC generally stayed out of the IC relationship historically,” Scroggins said. While there have been some FTC actions against Amazon and Uber regarding worker pay, those did not directly touch on worker status and whether they were independent contractors or employees.

“It’s really driven by this administration’s enforcement priorities,” he said. “They are taking a renewed interest in this particular issue.” While the question of contractor status has typically been left with the Department of Labor (DOL), Scroggins speculated that the additional support from the FTC could be tactic by the administration to bring more resources to bear on the issue, which is supported by the coordinated efforts between the NLRB and FTC as well as the DOL’s June announcement of new rulemaking on the matter.

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