The US Capitol Building in Washington, DC during winter

ASTA’s Eben Peck penned a letter in support of a congressional bill that would define the role of independent contractors in today’s workplace.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21st) introduced the Modern Worker Empowerment Act (H.R. 4069), a bill that would fix a patchwork of laws that have been passed to correct the current status of independent contractors in the workplace.

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Peck expressed ASTA’s strong support for the bill in a letter to Representatives Stefanik, Byrne. and Roe.

“Travel advisors and agencies—whether online, brick-and-mortar or hybrid business models in between—play a critical role in our country’s commercial aviation system and the broader travel and tourism industry,” Peck wrote.

He also noted that travel advisors are responsible for the sale of the majority of air travel in the U.S., processing more than 300,000 tickets per day and selling $86 billion worth of tickets in 2018.

Peck also highlighted the important role independent contractors play in the travel industry.

“Like many other industries, travel agencies rely heavily on the services of independent contractors (ICs), an arrangement that our members tell us provides substantial benefits for both workers and businesses in situations where a traditional employment relationship is impractical or uneconomical. Both parties benefit from the flexibility in business operations and opportunities for entrepreneurialism that IC arrangements provide,” he wrote.

Peck finished the letter noting the important work the legislators were doing tackling the challenge of defining the role these workers play in the workplace in a more beneficial way.