FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry Goldbetter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Freelance Organizations Support The PRO Act, Condemn Misinformation
MONDAY, APRIL 26 – The National Writers Union and the Freelance Solidarity Project reiterate our support for the PRO Act, which has also been endorsed by the Authors Guild, the Freelancers Union, the Dramatists Guild, and a host of other freelance writer and creator organizations.
We urge Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) to support the bill. Our members would benefit greatly from the protections the PRO Act extends to freelancers organizing for better labor conditions. We reject the persistent misinformation campaign claiming that the PRO Act will force 1099 independent contractors to become W-2 employees, or that freelancers will lose work, as some did when publishers cancelled some contracts after the passage of California’s Assembly Bill 5. These falsehoods have been debunked by countless experts in labor and employment law, including NWU legal counsel Stacey Leyton.
“The PRO Act modifies the employment test only for purposes of the NLRA,” Leyton says, “which covers the right to form or join unions; engage in protected, concerted activities to address or improve working conditions; or refrain from engaging in these activities. This means that freelancers could remain independent contractors for purposes of taxes (being paid as 1099 workers rather than W-2 workers) and other laws. The publication would not be forced to reclassify the freelancers for tax or other purposes, and freelancers who perform work for various publications could continue to do so.”
“The only thing the bill changes is freelancers’ ability to organize together and to collectively bargain the same way W-2 employees can under the NLRA,” Leyton says.
Under current labor law, freelancers can form unions like the National Writers Union and the Freelance Solidarity Project, but our attempts to organize are not protected—and employers are even able to file legal charges against us for some of the very same activity protected for our W-2 colleagues. The PRO Act would change this, and make it easier for us to exercise our civil rights to come together for our common good.
For further legal analysis, see: How The PRO Act Helps Freelancers: A Legal Analysis.
For more resources on the PRO Act and freelancers, see: