July 24, 2019Dear Members of the House Education and Labor Committee,
This week, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 2474,the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. We are writing to express concern with certain provisions of the legislation that would constrict and undermine the ability for American workers to choose when, where and how they wish to work.
The Coalition for Workforce Innovation (CWI)was formed to bring together a broad, diverse group of stakeholders like the service sectors,small business start-ups,technology companies as well as worker advocates to modernize federal workforce policy to enhance choice, flexibility and economic opportunity for all workers. CWI believes that:
Individuals should have the freedom to determine how, when and where they work;
Those choosing independent work should be treated fairly under the law in terms of access to training, benefits, and certain protections;and
Individuals should be able to work independently across all positions, platforms and industries.
Specifically, with regards to the PRO Act,CWI is concerned with the new amended definition of employee in Section 101 that would dramatically narrow the opportunities for independent workers. By adopting this restrictive definition,the legislation would do more harm than good by reducing flexibility for students, parents, small entrepreneurs and retirees as well as others who prioritize the benefits of scheduling work around their lives.In addition, the bill would unfortunately increase barriers to work and entrepreneurship for communities that have traditionally struggled in the job market including immigrants,caregivers, veteran sand individuals with criminal backgrounds.
Independent work is widely popular because it allows all individuals to organize their work on their own terms.Technological advancements have increased opportunities for all people to find well-paying and satisfying work that fits around their lives,rather than having to fit their lives around their work. As technology continues to improve by connecting people with opportunities to leverage their own capital, expertise, and other resources, a fresh look at public policy will be needed to fully realize the macroeconomic benefits of these trends.
The Coalition seeks to collaborate with policymakers on the advantages of independent work as well as highlight the opportunities to enhance this positive trend by modernizing existing federal workforce policy for the benefit of workers, consumers, businesses and the overall economy. We look forward to working with the Committee to ensure workers are afforded the opportunities to define their own path to prosperity and satisfaction through their lives and work. To learn more about CWI, please visit www.workforceinnovation.net.
Direct Selling Association (DSA)
Retail Industry Leaders Association(RILA)
Seyfarth Shaw, LLP