Capitol Building and surrounding grounds. Photo Credit: William Phillips/Bloomberg
Written by: REALTOR® Magazine Staff
Congress is considering a piece of legislation that would re-write American labor law, affecting independent contractors. The bill, known as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, passed the House of Representatives last year and again on March 9 of this year. If it were to become law, it would change various aspects of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which has governed the relationship between employers, employees, and labor unions since Congress enacted it in 1935.
The National Association of REALTORS® is cautioning members not to panic over passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill that could have broad implications for the independent contractor status of millions of Americans. Several recent opinion pieces in industry publications have incorrectly depicted the bill as nearing imminent passage in the Senate and becoming law with unfavorable terms for REALTORS®.
“NAR’s advocacy team worked with lawmakers in the House to ensure REALTORS® would not be negatively impacted and to support an amendment that would protect existing state definitions of ‘employer’ and ‘employee.’ We are currently working to ensure this language is included in the Senate version,” says NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn.
Find the latest developments and more background information on the issue at nar.realtor.
McGahn adds that NAR will continue pushing for independent contractor protections, even if the Senate declines to act on the bill: “Our advocacy team has launched a vigorous effort to educate lawmakers on how indispensable the independent contractor classification is to our industry and ensure the bill doesn’t apply to REALTORS®.”
Senate Republicans are united in opposition to the legislation as are some Democrats. It takes 60 votes to advance legislation in the Senate. “There has always been bipartisan interest in a real estate–specific exemption for any ABC test legislation,” McGahn says.
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