Protection of independent contractors, workers' compensation equity highlight accomplishments for small business
From the 2019-2020 session
Defeated Income Tax Increase
NFIB provided key testimony against efforts to impose a 7 percent corporate income tax on large businesses in Wyoming. This legislation could have been easily changed by future legislatures to apply to businesses of all sizes. The legislation failed to pass the Senate after being passed by the House of Representatives.
Stopped Loosening of Criminal Monetary Thresholds
NFIB joined efforts to defeat attempts by the Wyoming Legislature to raise the required threshold for a perpetrator to be charged with a criminal offense in certain crimes leading to the theft or damage to business property. Currently, the threshold is $1,000, this amount would have been raised to $2,000.
Halted Effort to Penalize Employers
NFIB opposed efforts that would have:
- prohibited an employer from taking adverse action against an employee for disclosing his or her wage to other employees
- prohibited an employer from requiring nondisclosure by employees of their own wages
- prohibited an employee to sign a waiver that denies the employee’s right to disclose the employee’s own wage information.
The bill failed passage in the House of Representatives.
Protected Independent Contractor Status
Won Lower Primary Care Costs
Preserved Private Property Rights
Defeated Threats to Independent Contractors
NFIB/Wyoming helped defeat three bills that would have made it harder for Wyoming small businesses to use independent contractors. The proposals are part of a national push by big labor unions to make those who have traditionally performed services as independent contractors to instead become W-2 employees. If these bills had enacted, small businesses that use independent contractors would have been subject to severe restrictions and fines if they misclassified an employee as an independent contractor. Since 2010, when the federal Department of Labor issued directives on the misclassification of employees, employers have been subject to numerous audits and, at times, the questionable interpretations by auditors on what constitutes an independent contractor. NFIB/Wyoming told legislators that the current test for determining who is and who is not an independent contractor is working and should not be changed. Legislators were also told state auditors should help educate small businesses as to the laws concerning the use of independent contractors rather than confronting them with the threat of audits and fines.
Won Workers’ Compensation Equity
NFIB/Wyoming worked to make the experience modifications ratings fair for all employers by making changes to the way premiums are calculated as they relate to the frequency of claims and severity.
Protected Private Property Rights
Should individuals have a right to trespass on someone’s property for the purpose of collecting scientific data? The Wyoming Legislature said ‘No’ – and no uncertain terms. The ability of landowners to protect their property rights increased as a result of Senate File 12 (Trespassing to Collect Data) passed by the Wyoming Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Matt Mead. This law will result in possible criminal convictions if an individual or entity trespasses private property for the purpose of collecting data. It will also prohibit information from being used by a government entity if it is collected by someone who trespassed on or across private lands. If information was illegally collected and provided to a government agency, it will be expunged by the government agency but will be retained to use as evidence against the trespasser. The law makes it clear that one must have permission to enter private land. It also specifies that one must disclose what kind of information is being collected.
Stopped Costly Expansion of Medicaid
NFIB/Wyoming continues to stand by our opposition to expanding Medicaid, 84 percent of NFIB members are against it. When the federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act run out, states will be required to continue the expansion leading to extreme pressure on the state’s budget. This will lead to significant tax increases on business. NFIB continues to fight attempts for expansion.