WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Members of the House of Representatives introduced new legislation to help implement a “consistent definition” of “employee” across the country.
The Modern Worker Empowerment Act, H.R.4069, was introduced in the House by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Congresswoman Michelle Steel (CA-48), alongside Senators Tim Scott and Marsha Blackburn.
According to Congress documents, the legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to “harmonize the definition of employee with the common law.”
According to Congresswoman this would “decrease confusion” for workers and entrepreneurs doing business with independent contractors.
She stated, “I am proud to introduce this commonsense solution to lift a needless burden off the shoulders of America’s workers and aspiring entrepreneurs. The laws of our land should be as straightforward as possible to allow for innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, and help people across the country achieve their unique American dream.”
Congresswoman Steel also commented on the legislation.
“Through AB 5, California made it harder for independent contractors and entrepreneurs to work – especially during the pandemic – and we need to make sure this doesn’t happen on the federal level,” stated Steel. “There are more than 2 million independent contractors and entrepreneurs working across California, and now more than ever we should be supporting our workforce. This legislation would empower employees and job creators, ensuring they are more protected under federal law. I’m proud to support our workforce through this legislation.”
Additionally, Stefanik confirmed that several contractors and employers have also supported the legislation. This includes Allstate, American Bakers Association, American Society of Travel Advisors, American Trucking Associations, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Customized Logistics and Delivery Association, Direct Selling Association, Financial Services Institute, Forest Resources Association, Freedom Foundation, Heritage Action for America, Independent Bakers Association, Insights Association, International Franchise Association, MBO Partners, MSPA Americas, National Association of Home Builders, NetChoice, NFIB, Open Competition Center, Private Care Association, Rio Grande Foundation, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
Original cosponsors of the Modern Worker Empowerment Act include Ralph Norman (SC-05), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Tom Cole (OK-04), Carol Miler (WV-03), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Kevin Hern (OK-01).