House Democrats have reintroduced the PRO Act, a sweeping jobs reform bill that could wipe out 57 million American freelance jobs — and President Joe Biden’s White House just affirmed that he stands firmly behind the disastrous proposal.
“The Administration strongly encourages the House to pass [the PRO Act] and looks forward to working with the Congress to enact this critical legislation that safeguards workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively,” the White House said in a statement on Monday. “The PRO Act will strengthen our democracy and advance dignity in the workplace.”
The bill would stop workers from being classified as freelance workers and force companies to hire them as full-time employees. The PRO Act’s definition of a freelance worker is narrowed to the point most jobs would no longer qualify.
A similar law enacted in California was so controversial the state later changed it. For example, the ride sharing company Uber nearly shut down operations in the Golden State, while hundreds of musicians, translators, writers and other gig workers lost their jobs.
Freelance jobs often pay significant income for Americans. A 2019 survey reported 40 percent of gig economy workers earn more than $100,000 annually. Another 35.7% earn between $50,000 to $100,000.
Many freelance workers are not “robbed” of employment, but choose their work arrangement. These include stay-at-home parents, work-from-home students and a variety of entrepreneurs who seek creative ways to earn a living.
As the nation extends remote working options in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, freelance work has become an essential form of employment. The PRO Acts could eliminate many of these jobs overnight, destroying the start-up spirit of America’s citizens.
The legislation follows other job-killing actions during the first months of Biden’s administration. His Keystone XL Pipeline executive order ended more than 11,000 American jobs, while his order to stop construction of the Trump border wall ended thousands more.
Biden’s first 100 days in office included several noble goals. Unfortunately, his first 100 days has also included numerous economic moves that have destroyed jobs tens of thousands or more American jobs.