Washington, D.C. — Representatives Elise Stefanik, Henry Cuellar (D-TX),and Michelle Steel (R-CA) today introduced the Worker Flexibility and Choice Act (WFCA). The legislation establishes a new work arrangement that combines the flexibility of independent work with certain workplace protections and opportunity for additional benefits. The relationship between the worker and the entity would be clearly defined through a “worker flexibility agreement” and voluntarily agreed to before work begins.
“Today’s workers value independent work for the flexibility and economic opportunity it provides, yet too many restricting standards on independent work diminish freedom for workers and stifle these innovative work arrangements. The bipartisan Worker Flexibility and Choice Act will empower workers to choose the type of work that best fits their needs, while allowing businesses to offer workplace benefits traditionally only available to employees. I thank Congressman Cuellar for partnering with me on this bipartisan effort to support independent workers,” Stefanik said.
“Texas workers have expanded into the gig economy at rapid speed for the flexibility and opportunities that it provides. This legislation promotes that type of independent work,” Cuellar said. “The bipartisan Worker Flexibility and Choice Act is important to ensure that our gig economy has the room and resources to expand. Thank you to my colleagues, Congresswomen Stefanik and Steel for their commitment to supporting our modernizing American economy.”
“As workers and businesses across the country continue to experience labor shortages and the highest inflation in 40 years, finding ways to promote employment flexibility should be a top priority for Congress,” Steel said. “I’m proud to join Reps. Cuellar and Stefanik to offer this bipartisan solution to promote stable, flexible employment to help empower American workers and businesses to thrive.”
Independent work has steadily increased in popularity in recent years, and independent workers prefer this style of work because of the freedom, flexibility, and entrepreneurial opportunity it provides –often as a source of supplemental income. This legislation empowers individuals to determine how they wish to engage in the modern economy, while providing legal certainty that will expand economic opportunities for independent work. It will also allow businesses to offer workplace benefits without undermining the flexibility of the work arrangement.
More specifically, the WFCA would:
- Ensure the worker retains the freedom and flexibility to accept or reject offers to provide their services, giving them control over when, where, and how much they wish to work.
- Promote worker freedom without infringing on certain workplace rights, including protections against discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.
- Allow the worker to engage with and provide services for multiple entities at any given time.
- Provide the worker a written summary of any health, pension, training, other benefits they may be eligible to receive.
The Worker Flexibility and Choice Act is supported by the Coalition for Workforce Innovation.
Read full text of the bill here.