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Legislation Introduced to Protect Marketing Research Companies from Unfair Labor Department Actions

Jun 13, 2012

Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA-03) has introduced the Research Fairness Act (H.R. 5915) in the U.S. Congress to prevent marketing research participants from being treated as employees of research companies.

The Research Fairness Act would clarify in federal labor law that marketing research respondents and mystery shoppers who receive reimbursement are independent contractors, rather than employees of research companies. The Act would affirmatively protect against burdensome (and difficult to defend against) administrative actions and audits by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Rep. Kelly launched this initiative at the request of Colleen Moore Mezler, a constituent in the 3rd Congressional District from Erie, Pennsylvania. Colleen is the president of full service research company Moore Research Services and is a past-president of the Marketing Research Association (MRA).

The Research Fairness Act was conceived by MRA and the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. It amends the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that mystery shoppers and other participants in research are independent contractors.

For more details go to www.marketingresearch.org or contact MRA’s Director of Government Affairs, Howard Fienberg.

Colleen and Mike Kelly

Our CEO, Colleen Moore Mezler, with Congressman Mike Kelly