Representatives Stefanik and Steel Introduce Modern Worker Empowerment Act, Senators Scott, Blackburn Lead in Senate

March 2, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik introduced the Modern Worker Empowerment Act in the House with Congresswoman Michelle Steel (CA-48), alongside Senators Tim Scott and Marsha Blackburn. This commonsense piece of legislation would simply make the definition of “employee” consistent across federal and state statutes to decrease inconsistency and confusion for American workers and entrepreneurs hoping to do business with independent contractors. For many, independent contractor status provides the ideal avenue to entrepreneurship, but a lack of clarity and consistency in worker classification standards has limited opportunities and stifled innovation. The Modern Worker Empowerment Act will harmonize the definition of “employee” across federal laws to create consistency and clarity for workers, job creators, and entrepreneurs across the country.

Congresswoman Stefanik issued the following statement: “I am proud to introduce this commonsense solution to lift a needless burden off the shoulders of America’s workers and aspiring entrepreneurs. The laws of our land should be as straightforward as possible to allow for innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, and help people across the country achieve their unique American dream.”

Congresswoman Steel added, “Through AB 5, California made it harder for independent contractors and entrepreneurs to work - especially during the pandemic - and we need to make sure this doesn't happen on the federal level. There are more than 2 million independent contractors and entrepreneurs working across California, and now more than ever we should be supporting our workforce. This legislation would empower employees and job creators, ensuring they are more protected under federal law. I’m proud to support our workforce through this legislation.”

“It is important now more than ever that we make it easier, not harder, for workers to find jobs that allow flexibility and independence,” said Senator Tim Scott. “This legislation creates clarity and consistency for both workers and job creators in how we define independent contractors. This stability will open avenues to innovation and entrepreneurship for American workers in all 50 states.”

“The success of American workers should not be hampered by outdated bureaucratic regulation,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn. “Laws defining employment ought to be up to date so that they adequately serve today’s creators and businesses in a way that enables them to live out the American Dream.”

The following contractors and employers support the Modern Empowerment Act: Allstate, American Bakers Association, American Society of Travel Advisors, American Trucking Associations, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Customized Logistics and Delivery Association, Direct Selling Association, Financial Services Institute, Forest Resources Association, Freedom Foundation, Heritage Action for America, Independent Bakers Association, Insights Association, International Franchise Association, MBO Partners, MSPA Americas, National Association of Home Builders, NetChoice, NFIB, Open Competition Center, Private Care Association, Rio Grande Foundation, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Original cosponsors of the legislation include: Ralph Norman (SC-05), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Tom Cole (OK-04), Carol Miller (WV-03), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Kevin Hern (OK-01)