Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


March 6, 2013

For small firms

Bill would clarify how workers are classified by employers

ASHLAND — To some readers, this editorial may seem self-serving, and in one sense, it is because newspapers throughout the state stand to directly benefit from the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly’s approval of Senate Bill 89. But much more than just newspapers, the vast majority of small busineses that use contract labor also would benefit from the bill, which passed the Senate last week by the vote of 23-15 that was mostly along party lines.

For the most part, Republican senators supported the bill, while it was opposed by their Democratic counterparts, including both Robin Webb of Grayson and Walter “Doc” Blevins of Morehead, the two senators who represent northeast Kentucky. If the same pattern of voting is repeated in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, SB 89 will be rejected by the House, and hundreds of small businesses — not just newspapers of all sizes — will be among the big losers.

Sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, SB 89 offers a clear determination on whether or not an employer is correctly classifying workers. It delineates six conditions that must be met to ensure the independent nature of the subcontractor company, including verification that the subcontracting company is complying with current federal immigration statutes.

The bill is in response to a few employers who intentionally misclassify employees in order to avoid paying Social Security taxes, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation by referring to their employees as subcontractors or independent contractors. That practice puts companies that follow the letter of the law and correctly classify all employees at a competitive disadvantage to those that do not.

SB 89 is backed by the Kentucky Small Business Coalition, a group of 43 organizations and associations that represents thousands of local business around the state, and why not? The bill offers a simplified system requiring proof that a subcontractor is truly an independent, legitimate business. Among other reasons, SB 89 is endorsed by the Kentucky Press Association because it would eliminate language in current law that specifically cites newspaper companies. Current law states that all newspaper carriers shall be considered employees, even though many  are independent. This unusual clause singles out newspaper companies and deserves to be deleted.

Senate Bill 89 would protect the rights of workers who are properly classified as contract workers and eliminate the unfair competition honest small businesses get from businesses that violate the law. Our elected leaders in Frankfort should support this bill because it makes it more difficult for businesses to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

Text Only
  • PAUL CHITWOOD: Ruling on same-sex marriage defies state constitution

    News that U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn once again usurped the will of Kentucky voters is tragic and disappointing. By declaring gay marriage legal in the commonwealth, Heyburn defied the essential, foundational governing document that ensures order and justice, the Constitution of Kentucky.

    July 8, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • Magolene S. Fraley 1929-2014

    Magolene Spears Fraley, 84, of Wurtland, died Saturday in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland.

    May 17, 2014

  • Business grant

    Morehead State graduate student Kayla Keeton, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU last spring and is now studying for her MBA at the school, has received a $5,111 grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help her start Belles of the Bluegrass, a high-tech wedding planning business.

    May 16, 2014

  • Recovery Fest celebrates kicking addiction

    The wet weather no doubt impacted the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Recovery Fest 2014 at Veterans Riverfront Park in Ashland, but there were plenty of reasons for addicts who are now drug free to celebrate and for speakers like State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and others to talk about the impact the prescription drug epidemic has had on this region and for others to distribute literature and offer words of encouragement that could convince some to seek help in their battle with their drug addictions.

    May 13, 2014

  • In Your View 5/13/14

    Letters to the editor:

    May 13, 2014