DSA Launches Independent Contractor Initiative

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect…”

Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

A Kafka experience 1996:

Dateline Maine 1996 for one of America’s leading direct selling companies:

One day you have no presence; the next day you are the largest employer in the state…at least until the state amends its unemployment statute, in 1996, to follow the federal tax definition of independent contractor exemption for direct sellers:

Service performed by a direct seller as defined in 26 United States Code, Section 3508(b)(2).  

Maine 26 M.R.S.A. 13 sec. 1043(11)(F)(28) (Amendment 1996)

Groundhog Day 2018; Deja Vu all over again

One day, leading direct selling telecom company, ACN, had virtually no employee presence in Oregon. A day after a seminal Oregon Supreme Court ruling, ACN found itself held to be an Oregon employer, with the accompanying challenges. Future: uncertain. A similar case is playing itself out for Kirby of Norwich in Connecticut.

And so, the DSA initiative…

In July, 2018, the Direct Selling Association announced an industry-wide initiative to update state unemployment legislation to be in sync with federal standards, in place since 1982, which call out direct sellers as independent contractors.

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