Ginger Blazier (Directions in Research) visited with staff for her Representative, Susan Davis (D-CA-53), on June 14, 2013. Although she did not get to meet with Rep. Davis herself, Ginger looks forward to talking with her back in San Diego soon.

In Washington, DC for business, Ginger generously volunteered to take the meeting to assist a Marketing Research Association (MRA) advocacy campaign for the Research Fairness Act, which would clarify in federal labor law that research respondents receiving any amount of incentive are not employees of research companies. The continuing risk of regulators misclassifying respondents as employees, instead of as independent contractors, motivated MRA and the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) to introduce the Research Fairness Act in 2012 (H.R. 5915 in the 112th Congress). A determination by the U.S. Department of Labor that respondents are employees could require research companies offering incentives of any value to pay respondents overtime wages as well as the federal minimum wage, subject them to restrictions on youth participation, and add extensive paperwork burdens.

Ginger Blazier meets with Lee Stauer (Rep. Susan Davis) to defend respondent incentives

After her meeting, Ginger then chipped in to explain to staff for Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03) the value of Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data in ensuring statistically valid research samples.

"I am passionate about the market research industry, due to the benefits it offers to every facet of life," commented Ginger. "It was quite an honor to join Howard Fienberg on these two quests, which are so impactful for the research industry."

Have you talked to your Senators or Member of Congress to advocate for the research profession yet? You don't have to come to DC. Get in touch with Howard Fienberg, MRA's director of government affairs, to get started.

Pictured, from left to right: Ginger Blazier; Rep. Davis staffer Lee Stauer; MRA Director of Government Affairs Howard Fienberg.