The PRO Act

Federal legislation was introduced in May 2019 and passed in the House of Representatives in February 2020. The bill is now under consideration by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Experts predict the legislation may not be brought before the current Senate in 2020, or if it is, it will not pass due to the Republican majority. The White House issued a statement that it does not support the legislation. However, the bill is heavily supported by Democrats representatives (and Democratic presidential candidates). If Congress and the White House are controlled by Democrats in the next session, the bill could more easily become law. This is a good time to educate representatives about the bill’s effects, in terms of the ABC test.

For freelancers, the concern with the PRO Act is the inclusion of a restrictive version of the ABC test. It includes the California version of the ABC test, but without carve-outs for specific industries or job types. In the form passed by the House of Representatives, the legislation could alter how independent contractors are classified, making it difficult to remain independent. (For more information about the ABC test and worker misclassification, please see this page)

Text of House bill H2474: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2474

Text of Senate bill S1306: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1306/text

How to find your Federal representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Contact information for your Federal representative: http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/

How to find and contact your Federal senator: https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm

Fight for Freelancers USA - : This website, started and run by ASJA members, has a lot of information about the PRO Act: https://fightforfreelancersusa.com/

Facebook group Fight for Freelancers USA: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fightforfreelancersusa/

Twitter for Fight for Freelancers USAhttps://twitter.com/Freelancers_USA

Articles about the PRO Act

Bloomberg Law: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/house-vote-on-union-backed-bill-sets-up-test-for-2020-elections

Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/01/29/most-ambitious-attempt-strengthen-unions-years-will-be-voted-next-week/

Politico: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/06/house-passes-bill-to-boost-labor-111867

Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriksherman/2020/02/10/unions-are-hurting-working-people-under-the-guise-of-protecting-them/#74bfc4e9266d

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