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Anybody in the U.S. worried about the ProAct?
Publicador del fil: Esther Pugh

Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
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Jan 22

The PRO Act, HR 2474, aka Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019, passed the House on 02/06/2020 – died in the Senate due to GOP majority (but things have changed; we now have a completely blue Congress)

This bill was a copycat based on AB5 in CA, which cost many of our Cali colleagues their contracts, income, and work assignments. The national version could cost all of us our US contracts, if re-introduced. Biden is a strong supporter of the unions (see latest DOL nominatio
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The PRO Act, HR 2474, aka Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019, passed the House on 02/06/2020 – died in the Senate due to GOP majority (but things have changed; we now have a completely blue Congress)

This bill was a copycat based on AB5 in CA, which cost many of our Cali colleagues their contracts, income, and work assignments. The national version could cost all of us our US contracts, if re-introduced. Biden is a strong supporter of the unions (see latest DOL nomination), and if this law goes national, US freelance translators better watch out (and look for European clients!).

Thoughts?
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writeaway  Identity Verified
Holandès a Anglès
+ ...
I don't see how this applies to genuine freelancers/self-employed translators Jan 22

https://www.uschamber.com/the-pro-act-h-r-2474-full-text

SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS TO THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT.

(a) DEFINITIONS.—

(2) EMPLOYEE.—Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 152(3)) is amended by adding at the end the following: “An individual performing any service shall be considered an employee (excep
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https://www.uschamber.com/the-pro-act-h-r-2474-full-text

SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS TO THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT.

(a) DEFINITIONS.—

(2) EMPLOYEE.—Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 152(3)) is amended by adding at the end the following: “An individual performing any service shall be considered an employee (except as provided in the previous sentence) and not an independent contractor, unless—

“(A) the individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of service and in fact;

“(B) the service is performed outside the usual course of the business of the employer; and

“(C) the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.”.
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Jessica Noyes
philgoddard
Gina Centanni
Germaine
 

Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
I’m still worried Jan 22

Well, the B-prong is the issue here. And has been in California. Certified translators Have been exempt but still have lost one year of income.

If this passes on a national level, we will all lose our income, and if we get exempt, it will take a while. That’s just my take & my worry.


Thomas T. Frost
 

philgoddard
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Mebre des-de 2009
Alemany a Anglès
+ ...
This is simply not relevant to us. Jan 22

As I understand it, they want to stop companies like Uber and Lyft from pretending that their employees are independent contractors.

Gina Centanni
Adieu
 

Larry Miller
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Espanyol a Anglès
It *may* be relevant. Jan 22

philgoddard wrote:
As I understand it, they want to stop companies like Uber and Lyft from pretending that their employees are independent contractors.

That was the supposed intent in California and a number of unrelated independent contracting professions-- including interpreters and translators-- were initially grouped into that class.


Esther Pugh
Miranda Drew
 

Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
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AUTOR DEL TEMA
@philgoddard Jan 22

That would be "nice", BUT check out translators' ordeals in CA, after AB5 passed there.
#AB5Stories on twitter tells you a lot .....


Thomas T. Frost
 

RobinB  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 22:51
Alemany a Anglès
More complicated than that Jan 22

First, Congress is not "completely blue". The 50:50 tie in the Senate means that, as the rules stand today, bills can be filibustered out of existence. But things are admittedly very fluid at the moment.

Second, there is no guarantee that all 50 Dem senators would support the bill.

Third, the language industry obtained significant concessions compared with the original AB5 requirements, and it should not be too much of a push to obtain identical concessions at federal l
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First, Congress is not "completely blue". The 50:50 tie in the Senate means that, as the rules stand today, bills can be filibustered out of existence. But things are admittedly very fluid at the moment.

Second, there is no guarantee that all 50 Dem senators would support the bill.

Third, the language industry obtained significant concessions compared with the original AB5 requirements, and it should not be too much of a push to obtain identical concessions at federal level.

Finally, ATA members can call on the Board to keep a close eye on legislative developments in DC. ATA supported CoPTIC in CA, and will no doubt be taking similar steps at the federal level.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
Dems control the Senate Jan 22

Democrats will control the Senate by virtue of Vice President Harris’ constitutional power to cast tie-breaking votes. The Senate will include 50 "Dem" members, including two Independent Senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King / Maine, who officially affiliate themselves with the Democrats. It's not that much of a stretch, really ....... if you care to look at what happened in CA, Dem leg always prevails, especially WRT labor laws .......

Yes – I am aware T&I got an e
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Democrats will control the Senate by virtue of Vice President Harris’ constitutional power to cast tie-breaking votes. The Senate will include 50 "Dem" members, including two Independent Senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King / Maine, who officially affiliate themselves with the Democrats. It's not that much of a stretch, really ....... if you care to look at what happened in CA, Dem leg always prevails, especially WRT labor laws .......

Yes – I am aware T&I got an exemption in California, BUT it took a long time, with lots of income lost, and whether or not an attempt to get an exemption on a national level will be successful? I am not so sure. Union $$ are powerful. Plus, to fight for an exemption takes months, if not years. Hence, my concerns – I think they're legit, due to past events, and we should not be naive about it.

There's hope with Manchin, being a "moderate conservative Dem" in the Senate, but don't underestimate the AFL-CIO. Ever.



[Edited at 2021-01-22 17:52 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-22 17:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-01-22 17:55 GMT]
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Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
ABC test – all 3 conditions must be fulfilled Jan 22


“(A) the individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of service and in fact;

“(B) the service is performed outside the usual course of the business of the employer; and

“(C) the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.”.



How do you meet the B prong, if you work for agencies?


 

Irene (Renata) Liapis  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Mebre des-de 2005
Italià a Anglès
+ ...
Why is the B prong an issue? Jan 22

It is my understanding that the B prong means that you cannot work in the client’s office or any place they do business. Is there more to it than that?

Also I found that this article provides some (albeit not total) clarity:
https://asja.org/faqs-anti-independent-contractor-laws


and I also came across this:
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It is my understanding that the B prong means that you cannot work in the client’s office or any place they do business. Is there more to it than that?

Also I found that this article provides some (albeit not total) clarity:
https://asja.org/faqs-anti-independent-contractor-laws


and I also came across this:
https://slator.com/industry-news/california-translators-interpreters-win-exemption-from-gig-worker-bill-ab5/,
according to which "Amended on August 25, 2020, the most recent version of AB 2257 places translators — not just certified translators, as in a past version — in the professional services exemption. Although CoPTIC also petitioned for interpreters to be included under the professional services exemption, they are listed under referral services."

[Edited at 2021-01-22 19:37 GMT]

and this which provides useful info on what we can actually do now:

https://www.ata-chronicle.online/highlights/ab-5-its-not-just-in-california/

[Edited at 2021-01-22 20:10 GMT]
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Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
@ Irene – What the B prong refers to: Jan 22

"The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business"(https://www.labor.ca.gov/employmentstatus/abctest/)


...... which would eliminate all your U.S. agency clients (direct clients would be OK)

[Edited at 2021-01-22 20:31 GMT]


Germaine
 

Irene (Renata) Liapis  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Mebre des-de 2005
Italià a Anglès
+ ...
So any translation would be considered "usual course of business" for an agency? Jan 22

This is of course completely surreal- as agencies almost only employee freelancers on a completely non-continuous basis and many of them at that. Absolutely crazy.

Were you able to look at the quote I posted above, regarding the fact that all translators, not just certified translators, were finally exempted? How do you think this might alter things in our favor?

Also, what about translators that are incorporated as LLCs, does the same thing apply?


 

Esther Pugh  Identity Verified
Estats Units d'Amèrica
Local time: 23:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Anglès a Alemany
+ ...
AUTOR DEL TEMA
ProAct might be more stringent Jan 22

Irene (Renata) Liapis wrote:

This is of course completely surreal- as agencies almost only employee freelancers on a completely non-continuous basis and many of them at that. Absolutely crazy.

Were you able to look at the quote I posted above, regarding the fact that all translators, not just certified translators, were finally exempted? How do you think this might alter things in our favor?

Also, what about translators that are incorporated as LLCs, does the same thing apply?


In California, which is really the only example we have so far, incorporating did not make a difference, due to the B prong. Incorporated or not, S-corp, C-corp, LLC, you're STILL in the same line of business if you're a translator/interpreter contracting with a translation agency. That's why many of us outside of CA – me included – received more work from agencies in CA in 2020.

The fact that T&I got an exemption in CA may or may not help us. Worst case scenario: The national version of AB5 aka ProAct will be more stringent without exemptions. We will see .......


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
Regne Unit
Local time: 04:51
Mebre des-de 2014
Japonès a Anglès
Unintended consequences Jan 22

philgoddard wrote:
As I understand it, they want to stop companies like Uber and Lyft from pretending that their employees are independent contractors.

Phil, I'm obviously neither a resident nor an expert, but I have been watching AB5 with appalled interest since late 2019. Yes, in theory it targeted primarily the ridesharing companies, but in reality AB5 applied to translators and many other professions as well. Agencies feared that if they used CA-based translators they would become liable for providing them with mandated benefits and protections, and so in many cases simply stopped sending them work.

Agencies probably had the correct interpretation, because when AB2257 was passed at the end of September to fix the worst problems of AB5, it specifically exempted translators, along with many other professions. In other words, the exemption seems to prove that translators were indeed covered by AB5 up to that point.

So did it get resolved? It looks like it, but it took a year, and there is anecdotal evidence that it caused significant disruption to freelance translators based in the state. There's no guarantee that the work those translators lost will return, even after AB2257. This is what happens when politicians like Lorena Gonzalez, who is obsessed with Lyft and Uber, stubbornly push legislation through without first taking the time to understand the nuances of the situation. Good intentions are not enough: AB5 destroyed livelihoods.

Hopefully (if it does become law) PRO Act will take California's experience into account and incorporate clauses like those in AB2257 from the start, thus avoiding the very real collateral damage to small businesses that the Democratic party in California caused with AB5. As Esther says, browse Twitter to get a flavour for what people have been through.

What was it that Ronald Regan used to say? "'I'm from the government and I'm here to help' are the most terrifying words in the English language." Whatever his shortcomings, the former governor of California got that bit right.

Regards,
Dan


Esther Pugh
Thomas T. Frost
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:51
Anglès a Àrab
+ ...
..... Jan 22

Here is what I don't understand:

- Those worried are, indeed, freelancers not covered by any benefits, and with companies increasingly abusing their rates, and consequently their income, livelihood and survival, by the day!
- A government, in this case the US government, introduces an act that can alleviate, if not eliminate, such an abuse by those companies. That's the purpose of it as far as I can tell!
- Companies play dirty and threaten to stop using your services, i
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Here is what I don't understand:

- Those worried are, indeed, freelancers not covered by any benefits, and with companies increasingly abusing their rates, and consequently their income, livelihood and survival, by the day!
- A government, in this case the US government, introduces an act that can alleviate, if not eliminate, such an abuse by those companies. That's the purpose of it as far as I can tell!
- Companies play dirty and threaten to stop using your services, in an exploitative -hence, illegal- measure by them to maintain their ongoing abuse.
- You, the freelancers, defy the act instead of supporting it? You put pressure on the government instead of on the companies?

In such a case, would the worried ones really be freelancers affected by the awful market conditions delivered by those companies? Or, would they be stakeholders in maintaining said awful market conditions, i.e. companies, shareholders and representatives thereof?

Just wondering, and have every right to!
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Anybody in the U.S. worried about the ProAct?

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