Last update: June 28, 2021
The House of Representatives recently passed HR 842, the so-called PRO Act, which revises the definition of employee and employer, among other things. Very similar to California’s AB5, the PRO Act contains the same ABC test that is included in AB5 and proves to be problematic for independent language professionals. The PRO Act would take away the freelance status of translators and interpreters who work as independent contractors. Independent contractors constitute more than 75 percent of the profession, and are heavily women and immigrants and people of color, the very segments of the workforce that sponsors of the bill profess to seek to uplift. The PRO Act is currently being discussed in the Senate. It is now discussed in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
The American Translators Association (ATA) recently sent a letter to the senate, with a request to amend the PRO Act to protect translators and interpreters from misclassification (click here to read the letter). The ATA Advocacy Committee is urging all independent language professionals — this means you! — to send this letter to the 2 senators who represent their state, along with a personal note about why remaining freelance is important. There are 100 Senators, and ATA wants each of them to have received the letter from their constituent.
AB5 was amended by AB2257, which recognizes the independent nature of freelance translators and interpreters as such. The amendment was made possible by advocacy efforts of NCTA, ATA, and CoPTIC, among others. The Coalition of Practicing Translators and Interpreters of California, CoPTIC, has recently rebranded as CoPTIC America, to advocate again for the profession, this time at the federal level. To see how you can help, visit CoPTIC’s website.
If you have any questions, you can contact the ATA Advocacy Committee at advocacy @ atanet.org or visit CoPTIC America.