Breaking News: PPAI Opposes Threat To Independent Contractor Model

New legislation has been proposed in Congress that would effectively ban independent contractor classifications under federal labor law. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, H.R. 842, amends the National Labor Relations Act to establish a new definition of employees which expressly eliminates independent contractors in the U.S. The new legislation makes a broad presumption that all workers in the U.S. are employees unless each element of a newly established “ABC” test can be demonstrated. PPAI is opposed to the PRO Act because, if signed into law, it would significantly change how thousands of promotional products companies interact with each other, and it will eliminate jobs in our industry.

Specifically, the PRO Act would eliminate independent contractor agreements, enforce government control over private employment contracts and significantly broaden risk exposure to joint employer liability.

The legislation also sets new criteria for determining occupational status as an independent contractor instead of an employee. The proposed new criteria entail a three-pronged test for which each of the requirements must be proven if an independent contractor wants to retain his or her status under federal labor law.

The House is expected to consider H.R. 842 during the week of March 8, with a possible vote happening by the end of the week.

Please click here to email and call members of Congress to educate them about why independent contractors in the promotional products industry do not want to be forced to reclassify as employees.

Read more about this developing story in Thursday’s PPB Newslink.

filed under Breaking News | March 2021
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Comments (3)
Debbie Smith
March 10, 2021
letter received back from Cindy Axne (Iowa Rep): Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me. As your Representative, I support the men and women who go into work every day to support themselves, their families and our economy. Worker-driven change and collective action have led to improvements in wages and benefits, conditions and hours, health and safety, and more. Without a doubt, workers are the backbone of Iowa. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, aims to strengthen federal laws protecting the right of workers to form a union and collectively bargain for their wages, benefits, and working conditions. Unions give workers a voice in their workplaces, empower them to negotiate with employers, and improve their quality of work and wellbeing. I am committed to protecting these rights, which is why I co-sponsored and voted with a bipartisan majority to pass the PRO Act in the 116th Congress and signed on again to co-sponsor and voted to pass the 117th version of the PRO Act, H.R. 842, on March 9th, 2021. The PRO Act includes processes to help workers reach contract agreements and provides protection from retaliation for organizing. Increased union membership also means increased income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average union member took home 18% more each week than the average non-union member. By strengthening collective bargaining rights, the PRO Act helps ensure workers receive wages and benefits that reflect their hard work. This bill also strengthens the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees our country’s labor laws. I support the key role the NLRB plays in supporting workers. By investigating and adjudicating labor disputes, providing legal guidance and enforcing settlement decisions, the NLRB helps ensure employees and employers are treated fairly and with respect. I will continue working in Washington to be a strong voice for workers in Iowa. One of the most important parts of my job is to listen to constituents across the district, and I will be sure to keep your thoughts on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act in mind as Congress considers any legislation that may impact workers in Iowa and across America. Thank you again for contacting my office. Please keep in touch with any additional questions or comments by emailing me at If you would like to receive regular updates from me, please visit to sign up for my e-newsletter. Sincerely, Cindy Axne Member of Congress
Amanda Hueneke
March 3, 2021
Thank you for sharing this!
Abigail Brown
March 3, 2021
Thank you for making this SO EASY to send an email to our legislators. I typically shy away from most political topics but changing the independent contractor laws would have a significant impact in my livelihood so I was interested in the article and clicked on the link. It was awesome to see a pre-drafted email that was clear to read, in layman's terms, and also powerful. Thank you!
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