State Policy Network
PRO Act limits “gig economy” workers’ choices, flexibility

This op-ed by SPN Director of Policy Strategy Chantal Lovell first published at InsideSources

In the 1980s, Dolly Parton gave working women everywhere an anthem summing up the frustrations many have felt working 9-to-5.

However, a lot has changed in the 40 years since Parton’s iconic song debuted, and Squarespace rebooted it in a recent Super Bowl ad. In the commercial, Parton flips the script in the same way millions of Americans have in recent years; this time around, she’s working 5-to-9, and doing so on her own terms.

The chorus sums up the freedom millions of entrepreneurs have found in 21st-century employment: “It’s hustlin’ time, a whole new way to make a livin’,” one in which workers are free to pursue their passion and “be (their) own boss, climb (their) own ladder.”

Unfortunately, Parton’s rewrite may not age as well as the original: Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are quickly working to eliminate Americans’ ability to find work on their own terms, at a time when the pandemic rages on and Americans need flexibility and choice more than ever.

The House is expected to consider the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act — legislation the National Retail Federation dubbed “the worst bill in Congress,” the week of March 8. It would virtually eliminate the ability of people to work as independent contractors and freelancers by codifying nationwide the most destructive parts of California’s sordid Assembly Bill 5 law. It also takes aim at traditional workers, banning right-to-work laws that protect Americans from being fired for not paying a union. Further, the PRO Act institutes numerous other policies that put the interests of well-funded labor unions ahead of individual workers and the businesses that employ them.

Read the full article here.

Categories: News
Policy Issues: Workplace Freedom
Organization: State Policy Network