The PRO Act, if passed as it is written, has the potential to devastate freelancers nationwide. Please contact your senator.

Here is some text, adapted from a statement by the Editorial Freelancers Association, that you may use:

Dear [Senator],

I am writing to ask that you support the removal of the ABC Test from the PRO Act and similar federal legislation. If passed as it is written, this legislation will have devastating consequences for the ever-growing population of workers who make their living as freelancers.

The initial intent of the PRO Act was to protect workers who are misclassified and give them the ability to join a union. However, the bill was amended to add a classification test (ABC Test) taken directly from California’s AB 5 legislation. When AB 5 went into effect, there were immediate and unintended consequences across a number of industries. Rather than creating employee positions for work that had been done by independent contractors, many corporations simply stopped working with California freelancers.

The way the ABC Test is currently written, legitimate independent contractors can pass parts A and C of the test. However, part B, which “requires that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business,” is both so general and so restrictive that it would spell the death of thousands of small businesses around the country. 

This is clearly not what we need now, or ever.

Instead of the ABC Test, I encourage you to support the use of the IRS standard for employee (mis)classification: “An individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work, not what will be done and how it will be done.” This standard enables freelancers to work in the same industry as their clients.

Thank you for taking this matter seriously and ensuring that modern labor law works for every American.

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