Stefanik Introduces Modern Worker Empowerment Act

July 26, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), and Congressman Phil Roe (TN-01) introduced legislation to update outdated labor laws and preserve the autonomy and flexibility of workers as they engage in the modern economy.

“Technology has changed not only the nature of work but also what people value in their careers, as younger workers increasingly seek flexibility and fulfillment,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our laws have not kept pace, creating a patchwork of regulations that limit opportunities for individuals to achieve economic success. This legislation harmonizes the federal standard for independent work in order to capture the realities of the modern workforce, empowering workers to take greater control of their future.”

“The modern workplace has changed dramatically, and it is critical we don’t allow outdated laws and regulations to hold back economic progress or limit job opportunities,” said Congressman Byrne. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation with Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Roe to modernize our regulatory framework and eliminate roadblocks for today’s workforce.  We should be empowering American workers, not holding them back, and I thank my colleagues for their leadership on these issues.”

“Our antiquated labor laws must keep pace with the constantly changing American workforce,” said Congressman Roe. “Technological innovation has empowered millions of independent entrepreneurs, but our labor laws have never been updated to meet their needs. I am proud to join Congresswoman Stefanik in introducing the Modern Worker Empowerment Act to ensure continued opportunity and flexibility for America’s modern workforce.”

Independent work arrangements, often coordinated through online platforms, provide freelancers and small businesses with the freedom and flexibility to provide specialized services on a per-job basis, while promoting economic growth through an efficient pairing of providers with consumers. However, expansion of the independent workforce is under threat due to outdated laws that increase the cost and complexity of doing business. The Modern Worker Empowerment Act updates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to clarify that the employee-employer relationship should be determined by the common law test, bringing consistency across federal government and creating a level playing field for individual entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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