The ABC Test and the PRO Act – What You Can Do


New on the Blog:

I’m not sure how I missed sending newsletters with the last two posts, but it seems I did. So my apologies. But on the plus side, that means I have three new posts to share with you today:

The ABC Test & the PRO Act: What You Can Do

Before deciding to move forward with an introduction to flat-file content management systems (as a follow-up to All Freelance Writing’s recent post on revenue sharing schemes), I was a bit stuck.

You see, this week it’s been tough to think about anything freelance-related other than the PRO Act which is due to go to the House for consideration next week.

I won’t bombard you with all the details here. If you want more background, you can read my full write-up on the PRO Act’s ABC Test and how it could kill freelancing as we know it here in the U.S.

Long story short, if this antiquated test designed in the 1930s for factory workers is codified into federal law, the Biden Administration has already made it clear they intend for it to apply to all labor, employment, and tax law in the future.

What this outdated test would do is prevent freelancers from from working with clients in their own industry. More specifically, if writing is a key element of the client’s business (think magazines, publication-style blogs, marketing and advertising firms, etc.) writers could only work with them as employees.

Of course, not all these companies could hire all their freelancers as employees. And many freelancers (this one included) have no interest in being anyone’s employee. We’ve spent years building businesses of our own.

If this moves forward, we risk losing our right to set our own schedules, work where we want, reject specific projects, set our own rates, and we could even lose the copyright to future work as that would be owned by our employers.

It’s more complicated than this, and I encourage you to read the post linked above. But the main point is, it’s not too late to act.

We already have a more modern test that protects freelance professionals: the IRS classification rules.

If you want to make sure your freelance business isn’t impacted by this proposed legislation, reach out to your Representative in the House this week. Tell them you want the IRS rules swapped in for the ABC Test.

There’s an even better chance this will fail in the Senate, so contact your senators too.

Go on social media and share your stories about why the freedom and flexibility you enjoy as a freelancer is important to you, and tag your reps when possible.

At the very least, please help spread the word so other freelancers and their loved ones know what this could mean for their futures.

Not sure what to say when you contact your reps? Read my post on the ABC Test for links to identify your reps and to get templates you can use courtesy of Susan Valot of SPJ’s freelance community.


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