With the rise of gig economy jobs such as driving for Uber and other forms of independent work enabled by the digital era, more than 57 million Americans now work as freelancers in some capacity. But President Biden just endorsed a radical labor law that endangers their livelihood.
House Democrats recently reintroduced the PRO Act, which, among many sweeping reforms, would make many commonplace forms of independent contractor (freelance) arrangements illegal. It’s based on a California law that was so dysfunctional even voters in the very blue state voted to change it.
“The Administration strongly encourages the House to pass [the PRO Act] and looks forward to working with the Congress to enact this critical legislation that safeguards workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively,” the White House said in a statement on Monday. “The PRO Act will strengthen our democracy and advance dignity in the workplace.”
“Support for labor” by destroying every freelancer’s job https://t.co/Bn5O6TDOzS
— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️ 🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) March 8, 2021
Far from “advancing dignity,” in reality, this law would strip millions of their income.
It purports to stop workers from being “misclassified” as freelancers in order to force companies to hire them full-time. But the PRO Act’s redefinition of freelance worker is so narrow that a worker can only provide a company with a freelance service that is outside its normal purview. For example, Uber is a driving company. It couldn’t hire drivers as freelancers, but it could potentially hire a janitor as a freelancer.