Freelancing has been an important source of earnings for many Americans for a long time. With every passing year, more people are drawing towards freelancing, owing to the freedom, lifestyle, and income that they enjoy. There are over 60 million freelancers in America, which may continue to increase. However, the PRO Act has seemed to stop the growth of freelancing in the country. And in this article, we tell you everything you need to know about PRO Act and how it impacts freelancers in the USA.
What is the PRO Act?
PRO is an abbreviation for Protecting the Right to Organize. This act is one of the recent bills passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. It seeks to expand the rights in the United States by making it simpler to unionize and protect employers from misclassifying workers deliberately as independent contractors.
The supporters of the PROAct say that it will protect the independent workers. However, independent workers assert that they don’t need protection by the PRO Act; instead, they need protection from the same act.
One of the main issues with the PRO Act is that in the practical world, most independent workers are misclassified at all. They are freelancers and could not possibly be misunderstood by employees by anyone.
If you are employed at a company that requires your rights as a worker to be protected by the union, the PRO Act may be a helpful thing. But for freelancers, the act is a problem hindering their growth.
Why Is It Bad?
The controversial working of the act is mentioned in the antiquated ABC test segment of the bill. The portion was created in the 1930s to protect the factory workers.
According to the ABC Test, to be deemed as a freelancer:
“(A) the individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of service and in fact;
(B) the service is performed outside the usual course of the business of the employer; and
(C) the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.”
So to be a freelancer under this act, one must comply with the prongs mentioned above. Prong A and C are not an issue; prong B is the biggest challenge.
It means that as a freelancer or an independent contractor, you cannot work for a company in the same niche as yours. For instance, freelance writers cannot write for newspapers or magazines.
The major impact of this act will be seen upon minorities, freelancers with disabilities, and minorities. They already have a hard time getting freelance projects and generating stable freelance income. If they are not granted the right to freelance anymore, they may have difficulty rebuilding their lives.
The Link Between Filibuster and the PRO Act
Some politicians are working to remove the filibuster to pave the way for PRO Act to become a law. If the notion of filibuster does not exist, senators who are against the PRO Act will not be able to filibuster the same, and it will increase the chances of PRO-ACT becoming a law.
Freelancer Uniting Against the PRO Act
Freelancers are not sitting back and letting the politicians take control. They are fighting back and hoping to make a difference. There is a website ‘Fight for Freelancers USA. It provides all the information that you need to fight against the PRO acts and how to win it.
While many have come forward, a lot of freelancers are not joining the fight. Some of the main reasons for that is:
- Unawareness: A lot of freelancers are not aware of the PRO act and how it can impact their lives. Therefore, it is important to educate freelancers regarding this act and get them together.
- Lack of Seriousness: Many freelancers are not taking this act seriously. They think that the hype around it will die in some time, and it will never become law. But with the freelance community coming together fighting, it is not going to go away on its own.
- Unawareness of the Impact: Considering the uncertainty of the things around us, it is not smart to be confident that this act will not affect your freelance career.
- Political Influence: Many freelancers are under political pressure and not coming upfront because of the same.
There are many ways to connect with lawmakers and let them know that you are against the PROAct. Since the bill is presented at the United States Senate, the state’s senators are the people to reach out to and contact. Additionally, you can also connect with other influential politicians on the matter and contact them through email or phone.