Mary Leigh Pirtle Provides Insight on Potential Worker Classification Change in Tennessee

April 10, 2019
Bloomberg Law

What would the potential worker classification change in Tennessee mean to employers, especially those in the gig economy? Mary-Leigh Pirtle explains to Bloomberg Law. Read more.Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Mary Leigh Pirtle provided insight on a new bill proposed in the Tennessee Legislature that would alter the way Tennessee businesses can identify whether individuals should be classified as employees or independent contractors. Tennessee, like many other states, currently uses a three-part “ABC test” which presumes individuals are employees unless all three parts of the test are satisfied; employee benefits – such as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and others – are inapplicable to independent contractors. The bill calls for adoption of the IRS 20-factor test, which could potentially broaden a company’s ability to classify its works as independent contractors.  The bill already has passed the Tennessee House and is pending in the Senate.

The 20-part test strongly favors employers in the emerging “gig economy” – businesses such as Uber and Lyft. “Any of those industries would potentially benefit because of the loss of that presumption,” said Mary Leigh.

The full article, “States of Work: Tennessee May Switch Worker Classification Tests,” was published by Bloomberg Law on April 4, 2019, and is available online (subscription required).