The federal labor legislation that would kill my livelihood

California's freelance bill was an abject disaster. Now Democrats are quietly pushing it nationwide.

A laptop getting stomped.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

In early February, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), with dozens of cosponsors, introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) of 2021. Backed by labor unions, opposed by industry groups, and dubbed by Jacobin the "most ambitious labor law reform bill in generations," the PRO Act has chiefly gotten attention for its import for union organizing. But that's not all the bill does.

The PRO Act is also concerned with how freelancers like me are classified as workers. As written, it's intended to force companies to hire us as employees — with all the benefits, like insurance and vacation time, that entails — rather than as independent contractors. That won't happen. If this legislation passes as-is, it will instead destroy my livelihood by making all my work contracts illegal.

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