A couple of weeks ago, the REALTOR® community was buzzing about the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which seemingly came from nowhere to pass the U.S. House of Representatives.
The legislation would establish new federal rules to make it easier for workers to unionize. The concern from the real estate community centered around the bill’s potential impact on the independent contractor status of millions of Americans.
NAR cautioned members not to panic, noting that the legislation would have a difficult time passing the U.S. Senate and citing NAR’s efforts to amend the legislation to protect 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,” said NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn.
At the state level, the Virginia REALTORS® have monitored legislation that could affect independent contractor status in the Commonwealth. While there has not been a significant push for Virginia to change the status in recent years, our Government Relations team remains diligent in our efforts to stop any legislative initiatives to alter the state’s independent contractor rules.
Over the past several years, the Virginia REALTORS® Legal team put together several resources for brokers and their agents on Virginia’s independent contractor rules:
- A Caveat REALTORS® Podcast from May of 2020 on the differences between employees and independent contractors.
- New Laws Summary from 2020 – Section 2.3 discusses worker misclassification.
- A Legal Facebook Live from April 2020, discussing updates to Virginia law on worker misclassification.
- A 2015 Commonwealth Magazine article that talks about worker classification in Virginia. The information is still timely even though the article is several years old.
- Resources such as an Independent Contractor Agreement (Form 1700)you can use with your agents.
NAR has additional resources on its website about national independent contractor advocacy efforts.
As always, our team will keep you posted on new developments on the policy front. If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Information as of 04/05/21