I4AW, Mackinac Center Laud RSC Chairman Banks, Rep. Allen, Rep. Foxx and other Lawmakers for Defending the Rights of Independent Workers

Amicus brief filed by 30 Members of Congress urge NLRB to avoid overreach in evaluation of employment status.

For Immediate Release: February 10, 2022

HAMILTON, VA─ Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Jim Banks, Rep. Rick Allen, and Rep. Virginia Foxx along with 30 other Members of Congress took a stand for independent workers by filing an amicus brief in support of the Atlanta Opera, Inc.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Institute for the American Worker provided counsel on the brief as both groups support the freedom of independent workers to work for themselves.

“The NLRB is stepping outside its authority to make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to work for themselves and support their families,” said F. Vincent Vernuccio, president of Institute for the American Worker and senior labor policy adviser for the Mackinac Center. “Reclassifying them as employees would bring added bureaucracy for employers and less flexibility for workers who value the opportunity to be their own boss.”

Previous efforts by the NLRB to stifle entrepreneurs have repeatedly been struck down in court. In two cases, the D.C. Circuit Court said it is up to Congress and not an administrative agency to determine who is an employee versus an independent worker.

“At a time when independent contractors and the gig economy are more popular than ever, the NLRB is considering adopting a policy that would eliminate the freedom and flexibility needed by millions of Americans to earn a living. People should be free to pursue job opportunities that leverage their unique talents and accommodate their lifestyles,” said Steve Delie, Director of Labor Policy and Workers for Opportunity at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “The board should not take away these individuals’ ability to participate in a diverse and dynamic employment market, which not only benefits those workers and their families, but the rest of society.”

I4AW and Mackinac Center stand in agreement with the amicus signers that modifying employment standards is a decision left to Congress. However, even with Congressional authority, lawmakers would be hard-pressed to support a bill that leaves workers with fewer options- especially those who choose to work for themselves.

The amicus brief was signed by the following Members:

  • the Honorable Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee,
  • the Honorable Rick Allen, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions,
  • the Honorable Virginia Foxx, Ranking Member on the Committee on Education and Labor,
  • the Honorable Elise Stefanik, the House Republican Conference Chair,
  • and 26 other Members.

Click here to view the full list of signatories and read their press announcement.   

For further information, please contact Mary Ellen Beatty at MaryEllen@i4aw.org