End of the Road For the Gig Economy?
As the gig economy continues to grow, so do the number of questions about how the law will be regulated. President Biden’s proposed legislation, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, includes several provisions that could significantly impact gig workers, including freelance architects and interior designers.
The PRO Act would make it easier for gig workers to unionize by clarifying that they are employees, not independent contractors. It would also give them the right to bargain collectively with their employers.
The bill would also make it illegal for companies to misclassify their workers as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits or complying with labor laws, even in cases where the worker is an independent contractor and prefers to work that way.
Working as an independent contractor has many benefits for architects and interior designers. These professionals can enjoy greater control over their work, schedule, and income. Additionally, they are not tied to one company or location and can take on projects that interest them from anywhere in the world. Independent contractors often have more freedom to negotiate fees and choose their working hours. They also typically have lower overhead costs than traditional businesses, which results in higher profits. In addition, they are not subject to the same employment laws and regulations as conventional businesses, giving them more flexibility in operating.
If you believe every worker in America should be the employee of a firm rather than work for themselves, you should support the passage of the PRO Act. If not, there are a few things that architects and interior designers can do to fight the passage of this law. First, they can educate themselves and others about the potential negative impacts of the law. Second, they can contact their local representatives and let them know their concerns. Finally, they can support organizations fighting against the passage of the law. Where do our professional associations stand? Contact the national headquarters of The American Institute of Architects and work with them to develop a strategy. https://www.aia.org/pages/6347502-federal-advocacy-outreach.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis and starting his design firm, David McFadden saw a gap to fill in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed – flexibility and adaption to current work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients and staff through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early ’80s, the early ’90s, the early 2000s, the Great Recession of 2007, and the Pandemic.