Wednesday | December 4, 2019

Scott, Blackburn Introduce Modern Worker Empowerment Act to Enhance Gig Economy Workers

WASHINGTON—Today, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Modern Worker Empowerment Act, which would ensure that government regulation matches 21st century workforce advances.  The American economy has fundamentally transformed with the introduction of new technology lowering barriers to entry for independent entrepreneurship, yet the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from the 1930s has not been updated to match.

“One of the many jobs I have the privilege of doing in Washington is ensuring that government keeps up with the amazing ingenuity of the American economy,” said Senator Tim Scott. “My Modern Worker Empowerment Act makes certain that federal statute is clarified to enhance American workers and our booming economy.”

“Twenty-first century entrepreneurs have access to countless platforms and technologies that enable them to conduct business in a modern way. 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,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn.

The Modern Worker Empowerment would modernize the outdated definition of “employee,” found in the FLSA, which was passed in 1938. The current ambiguity in the law discourages companies from doing business with independent entrepreneurs, such as ride-sharing drivers. This, in turn, limits the opportunities available to these entrepreneurs. The bill would also reconcile the FLSA with recent United States Supreme Court decisions that ruled that a common-law test is the proper test for the term “employee.”

Click here to read full bill text.

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