Why the war on workers in California isn’t a path forward for the United States
In 2019, California passed AB 5, a piece of legislation that has been disastrous for the state’s independent workers. It’s led to layoffs, limited opportunities, and fewer chances to make some supplemental income.
Now the Biden administration wants to take AB 5 nationwide with a federal version, the PRO Act.
This would be a mistake, warn Representative Kevin Kiley and LIBRE Policy Director Isabel Soto in their new op-ed, “American workers face war on right to earn a living.”
The pair argue that policies like the PRO Act are part of a larger attack on the right to earn a living:
The right to earn a living is at the heart of the American Dream. In a free society, few rights are more fundamental — or more essential to a dynamic and prosperous economy. Generations of Americans have depended upon this right: the right to practice your profession and pursue your calling; to be a maker, a builder, a creator; to pursue happiness in your own way.
Yet at this moment, that right is in peril. The Biden administration has launched a multi-pronged assault on the right to earn a living in America. It is a concerted strategy designed to limit or eliminate the gig economy, freelancing, independent contracting, self-employment, and alternate work arrangements that entire careers are based on and entire industries have been built around. The livelihoods of millions of Americans are at risk.
Among those millions are the estimated 50% of the Latino community engaged in independent work.
Kiley and Soto conclude:
The war on workers in California is not the path forward for our nation. It is a proven formula for harming the most vulnerable and would be a self-inflicted wound to our entire economy. A real pro-worker proposal is one that listens to what workers want, makes it easier to earn a living, and supports independent work. Now more than ever, we must support the right of enterprising Americans to pursue their work in their own way. We must protect the American Dream rather than putting it out of reach for millions.
Read the full op-ed.