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Direct Sellers Urge Lawmakers to Protect and Clarify Independent Contractor Status During Direct Selling Day on Capitol Hill

More than 125 direct sellers from across the United States join the Direct Selling Association for DSA Capitol Hill Day to meet with Members of Congress. (Photo: Business Wire)

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The Direct Selling Association (DSA), the national trade association for direct selling companies, hosted its annual Direct Selling Day on Capitol Hill for executives and independent direct sellers throughout the United States.

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More than 125 people representing 19 DSA member companies met with Members of Congress to emphasize the importance of protecting independent workers and discuss how direct selling offers a flexible, and low-risk pathway to entrepreneurship for millions of Americans.

Direct Selling Day on Capitol Hill is part of the DSA’s broader efforts to urge passage of H.R. 3522, the Preserving the Direct Seller Independence Act, which is intended to modernize independent work laws to keep pace with updates in the economy and with the nature of labor.

“As we see more people choosing independent work in today’s economy, it’s important that we recognize that all independent work is not the same,” said Joseph N. Mariano, president and chief executive officer for the Direct Selling Association. “Choice is a critical distinction to make, and H.R. 3522 preserves direct sellers’ ability to choose the products they want to sell, the customers they engage with, and the hours they will work – and make those decisions based on their own needs, responsibilities and aspirations.”

“Direct selling is a force for good, and we make a positive difference in the lives of so many across the U.S. and beyond,” explained Ryan Napierski, DSA Chairman and President, Nu Skin Enterprises. “It is important for us to ensure that our representatives here in Washington, D.C. understand what we do and what makes direct selling different from newer gig economy players. The importance of the work we are doing today cannot be understated.”

Direct sellers participating in the Capitol Hill events represent the more than 6 million entrepreneurs – about 75 percent of whom are women – in the United States. According to 2019 DSA National Salesforce Study, ‘flexibility’ was the top reason for becoming a direct seller.

Attendees urged almost 100 Members of Congress to consider the implications and importance of maintaining the independent contractor status for all direct sellers. Emphasizing that direct selling offers individuals a low-risk way for to participate in today’s fast-growing economy.

During the morning program, attendees heard from members of the Direct Selling Caucus about their support of the direct selling business. Speakers were:

  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)
  • Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
  • Rep Tim Walberg (R-MI)

“As the son of an entrepreneur, I understand what it takes to build a business on your own terms,” explained Rep. Gottheimer (D – NJ). “As co-author of H.R. 3522, the Preserving Direct Seller Independence Act, I believe direct selling and the good that it does universally for American families is something that all legislators, regardless of politics and party affiliation, can stand behind.”

Rep. Hudson said, “As the co-chair of the direct selling caucus, there is no better time to represent this industry here on Capitol Hill. I know direct selling: it’s what helped me pay my way through college.”

“I know what it means to be self-made, and I understand the focus and determination needed to reach individual goals. Direct sellers are people I respect, and as a member of the Direct Selling Caucus, I am proud to stand up for and help protect what you do,” said Rep. Lesko (R-AZ)

“When we talk about employment today, we can’t talk about the type of employment that we’ve always known – things have changed so much, and this is why I am fighting to protect direct sellers’ independence through H.R. 3522, the Preserving Direct Seller Independence Act,” explained Rep. Walberg (R – MI) and member of the Direct Selling Caucus. “Standing for direct selling is important because of what you do for so many millions. I am committed to preserving your personal freedom and what you do to improve the lives of so many on your own terms.”

DSA continues to work with Members of Congress as a part of ongoing efforts to police, protect, and promote direct selling, and to ensure direct sellers are fully understood at all levels of government.

ABOUT THE DIRECT SELLING ASSOCIATION

The Direct Selling Association (DSA) is the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers to market and sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment. In 2018, direct selling took place across the United States, generating $35.4 billion in retail sales. More than six million entrepreneurs in the U.S. are selling products or services through the direct selling channel, providing a personalized buying experience for more than 36.6 million customers.

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