Elizabeth Stork Quoted on PRO Act by Insider

On April 13, Insider’s article entitled, “The failed Amazon union bid has reignited calls to pass the PRO Act. Here’s how the labor bill could help freelancers” quoted RPJ attorney Elizabeth Stork on the PRO Act and its potential consequences.  If signed into law, the PRO Act would increase federal protections for workers to form unions, discuss their work and wages, and engage in other activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Many people who are currently independent contractors could also be reclassified as employees under the NLRA using the “ABC Test,” which would  give them the opportunity to discuss working conditions without fear of retaliation and form unions. Elizabeth discusses claims that freelancers would be harmed by the PRO Act, saying that she does not think that the PRO Act itself is “dire” for freelancers and that it is still far from reality, given that the bill is expected to have a hard time advancing through the Senate.

The PRO Act would use the ABC Test to determine whether someone is an employee, which is why it has faced resistance from some freelancers.  A recent California law, AB-5, uses the ABC Test as well and that law faced opposition from gig-economy companies and freelancers who felt it went too far in classifying independent contractors as employees. Elizabeth states, “True independent contractors who shop their work around and were their own boss didn’t want their work to dry up because people who employed them are now shackled with additional obligations because they’re ‘employees,” and adds that the ABC Test is a “rather blunt instrument.” Elizabeth continues, “Applying the ABC Test to federal employment laws would likely help “permalancers” and gig economy workers who want to be employees. But some freelancers may not want the ABC Test being written into additional laws that affect healthcare and wage and hour protections.”

To learn more, read the full article on Insider here.