The PRO Act, as passed by the House and currently in the Senate, is the most sweeping, comprehensive labor bill in decades. It amends the National Labor Relations Act to strengthen collective bargaining rights, and it would give many professional freelancers the same rights as employees to collectively bargain with the companies that employ them. This is a profound development for freelance writers. The PRO Act, however, will not make any 1099 freelancer a W2 employee, nor vice versa.


JOIN THE AUTHORS GUILD IN SUPPORTING THE PRO ACT!

Please let your Senators know that you support the PRO Act and ask them to ensure that it covers all freelance writers and authors without affecting their copyright ownership.

READ MORE


WEBINAR: The PRO Act - How Would It Impact Freelance Writers?

Friday April 9, 1PM EST

Join the Authors Guild for a discussion of the PRO Act, passed by the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate, which, if enacted, would give freelance writers and authors collective bargaining rights, and what that means. We will walk you through the pertinent provisions of the PRO Act—in particular its use of the ABC test—and the National Labor Relations Act, which it amends, to illustrate how the legislation would impact you as a freelance writer. We will also address misinformation fanned online about how the PRO Act would "nationalize" California's AB5 law and make freelance writers employees—which in reality is not the case.

REGISTER HERE

The Pro Act and the ABC Test

There has been a good deal of online hype that the PRO Act uses the ABC test and will make 1099 freelancers into W2 employees. To be clear, it does not. It amends the federal labor law that provides collective bargaining rights and governs the National Labor Relations Board, and nothing else. Coverage under the NLRA does not directly affect employment status for any other law.

READ MORE


How Does the PRO Act Affect Freelance Writers?

What does this mean for writers? Will writers have to join unions?

The first thing the PRO Act will do is allow writers to speak to each other about financial terms and to speak out collectively for or against certain terms or treatment. Writers’ groups could start to do things like setting suggested minimums for different types of writing services or call for boycotts of certain publishers without fear of getting sued for antitrust violations. It will not affect your status as a 1099 freelancer.

READ MORE


The Guild’s Legislative Proposals for Collective Bargaining

Authors, freelance journalists, and other creators need the ability to collectively demand better treatment and terms for their work from those they work for. They work on a freelance basis for publishers under standard contracts and often for low pay, with almost no ability to negotiate better terms.

READ MORE


The PRO Act 2021

Legislative text of the PRO Act.

READ MORE


What is the ABC Test?

The “ABC test” is a legal test used by many states in employment-related laws, such as for workers’ compensation or unemployment compensation, to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. It is a three-factor test, hence the name “ABC.” The ABC test gained notoriety last year when California incorporated it into a worker classification law referred to as “AB5” to make it easier to enforce the law against gig employers, like Uber and Lyft, who refused to treat their core full-time workers as employees and pay state employee taxes for them or provide them any benefits.

READ MORE

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT 

Relevant Sections of the NLRA, 2, 7, and 8

READ MORE


PRO ACT IN THE NEWS 

Why Are Freelancers Organizing Against the PRO Act?
The New Republic

Freelancers Shouldn't Have 'Horror' Stories
The New York Times

Join the Authors Guild to learn more

Become a Member

Log in to your member account. If you are a member and do not have an online account, get in touch with the Authors Guild via our contact form.