House Panel Backs Bill to Protect Freelancers

Biden Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su
Freelancers across the country have highlighted how a new bureaucratic rule forged by Biden Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and her cohorts would either put them out of business, or force them into less flexible traditional employment. (Credit: PBS News Hour)

Biden Agents Enable Big Labor to Control or Wipe Out Contractors 

The National Right to Work Committee is strongly urging lawmakers on Capitol Hill to support H.J.Res.116, a measure that would halt an ongoing attack on America’s freelancers by President Joe Biden’s Department of Labor (DOL).

The rule, which took effect March 11 and was concocted at powerful union bosses’ behest by Biden DOL Acting Secretary Julie Su, redefines the term “independent contractor.” 

The clear aim of this redefinition is to shove as many as possible of the up to 70 million people across the country who perform freelance work into payroll jobs so they can be forced into paying union dues on pain of termination.

Committee Supports Rescission Of Coercive DOL Ruling

Congress has the ability to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies through passage of Congressional Review Act (CRA) measures. 

H.J.Res.116, a CRA that would overturn the DOL’s independent contractor regulation, is strongly supported by freelance workers nationwide as well as by the Committee.

In an email to House members, Committee staff reminded lawmakers that the true purpose of the DOL regulation was to expand compulsory unionism, not to protect workers’ interests.

 “The BLS [federal Bureau of Labor Statistics] found that 79 percent of independent contractors prefer independence over traditional employment,” the email read. 

“Freelancers across the country have highlighted how the DOL’s rule would either put them out of business or force them into less flexible traditional employment. 

“The motivation behind taking away workers’ option to be independent is simple: Traditional employees, unlike independent contractors, can be unionized and forced to pay union dues. 

Recent Gallup polling shows that 60 percent of Americans have ‘no interest at all’ in joining a union. This has made union organizing difficult. But once unionized, workers in the 24 states that lack Right to Work protections can be forced to either pay union dues or be fired. This makes the destruction of independent contracting financially lucrative for politically connected union officials, even as it upends the way millions of Americans make a living.”

Attacks on the individual worker’s freedom are only to be expected from Julie Su and her staff. Ms. Su’s support for forced unionism is so radical that, even though Mr. Biden first nominated her to head the DOL in February 2023, she has yet to be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

Part of what has driven the skepticism over Ms. Su is her 2019-21 track record as the secretary of California’s Labor Department. 

It was during her tenure that the Golden State executed its own crackdown on independent contractors through state Assembly Bill 5 (A.B.5).

Julie Su Has Been Described As an ‘Architect’ Of Disastrous A.B.5

The Washington Post has described Ms. Su as an “architect” of the disastrous policy, which threw freelancing across California into chaos, sparking so much opposition that state legislators backpedaled and exempted over 100 politically connected professions from the rule’s strictures.

As a recent analysis of this statute by the nonpartisan, Virginia-based Mercatus Center shows, rather than turn independent contractors into payroll employees, as A.B.5’s sponsors predicted, A.B.5 prompted many businesses to end their relationships with contractors. 

In many other cases, the professional relationship ended because the contractors did not want to become employees and chose to exit the workforce instead.

In the wake of A.B.5, “self-employment in California fell” by 10.5% and “overall employment tumbled” by 4.4%, as Reason reporter Eric Boehm wrote in a January 18 article summarizing Mercatus’ findings.

House Floor Vote on CRA Could Occur at Any Time

H.J.Res.116 was voted favorably out of the House Education and Workforce Committee on March 21 and was placed on the calendar pending a floor vote.

“In all likelihood President Biden will stand behind his corrupt DOL and veto this CRA if it makes it to his desk, and there are too many members of Congress who are beholden to Big Labor for a veto override to succeed,” acknowledged Committee Vice President Greg Mourad. 

“Ultimately, barring court intervention, the anti-contractor rule is likely to remain in place until there is a President in the White House who is willing to stand up for millions of workers instead of siding with union bosses. 

“There’s very little hope Joe Biden will turn over a new leaf and become such a President. 

“But as long as he remains in office, the Committee will be working diligently to shed light on his pro-union compulsion record.”

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.

To support our cause and help end forced unionism, go here to donate.

NRTW Home » News » House Panel Backs Bill to Protect Freelancers