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Front of the Capitol building

Congressman Issa Introduces Amendment to Protect Gig Workers, Stop Elimination of Millions of Jobs

March 8, 2021


Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) introduced an amendment to the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021, which would enact unprecedented changes to the National Labor Relations Act as well as radically alter entire sectors of the economy and eliminate jobs. Issa stated:

“We know that millions of Americans lost their jobs and with it their livelihoods during the pandemic and the severe shutdowns that governments implemented in response. Many of them found an economic lifeline in the gig economy that let them utilize technology and ingenuity to offer products and services. All of that is at risk of being destroyed if the PRO Act advances.”

The Issa amendment specifically changes the PRO Act’s definition of an “employee”, which would restrict the ability of millions of people to work as independent contractors by instituting what is typically known as an “ABC” test. The ABC test makes it next to impossible for a business to hire an independent contractor.

Amendment co-sponsor Congressman Mike Garcia (CA-25) added:

“The Pro Act is yet another example of the radical left’s attempt to upload failed California policies, like AB5, to the federal level. California experienced firsthand the devastating effect that AB5 had on our community and economy, costing us tens of thousands of jobs. The Pro Act just scales up the pain and will cost millions nationwide their livelihood. I am pleased to support Congressman Issa’s amendment that would alter this bill to ensure that independent contractors are not forced to reclassify as regular employees.”

Congressman Issa also referenced California’s Assembly Bill 5 in his remarks:

“It’s bad enough that the worst ideas of California are now the de facto policy bedrock of this White House. But to take one of the most reckless job killers in recent memory and extend it across America is to make one state’s mistake the entire nation’s crisis.”

The “gig economy” is widely defined as a labor market illustrated by part-time agreements, short-term contracts and freelancing, compared to typical full-time or permanent jobs. While often characterized by ridesharing and app-driven services, gig economy jobs can include attorneys, accountants, architects, engineers and hundreds of other highly skilled positions.

The PRO Act would also drastically expand damages, fines, and civil penalties, end state Right-to-Work laws and institute unfair “Card Check” provisions governing union elections repeatedly rejected in recent years.

Read the full text of the amendment here.