McHenry Calls for Gig Worker Support in Coronavirus Relief

  

Washington – Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter urging Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman (SEC), Jay Clayton, to ensure emergency relief and economic recovery benefits all American workers, including “gig” workers.

Last week, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law to provide critical support for businesses, workers, and consumers—specifically by providing $500 billion to Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) to rush emergency relief to the most distressed sectors of our economy. Now, McHenry is calling on the Treasury and SEC to“encourage any recipients of the fund to provide access to equity compensation to their entire workforces” and remove “regulatory barriers that prevent workers from even obtaining it.”

In the letter, McHenry specifically highlights the importance of providing“freelancers, sole proprietors, contractors, and other non-traditional workers the ability to receive equity compensation just like traditional employees,” to ensure “all workers have ownership in our recovery.”

Read Congressman McHenry’s letter to Secretary Mnuchin and Chairman Clayton here or below:

Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Chairman Clayton:

I write to you at a truly unprecedented time in our nation’s history. Vast parts of our economy are shut down in an effort to save American lives. As a result, we need a whole-of-government approach to support those hit hardest by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Congress took an important step towards supporting businesses, workers, and consumers by passing the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In particular, the CARES Act provides $500 billion to Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund in emergency relief to the most distressed sectors of our economy with certain stipulations on equity interests. Now, I ask that you work together to maximize the benefits of the CARES Act to ensure that the economic recovery does in fact benefit all Americans.

My request is that you will encourage any recipients of the fund to provide access to equity compensation to their entire workforce. That means not only asking eligible companies to provide equity compensation to all of its workers, but also removing regulatory barriers that prevent some workers from even obtaining it. For example, emergency reforms are necessary to modify Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933 to give freelancers, sole proprietors, contractors, and other non-traditional workers the ability to receive equity compensation just like traditional employees.

I commend you for your efforts since the beginning of this public health crisis. Your responsiveness and regulatory flexibility have served the public well in this time of great uncertainty for American families and businesses.  Now it’s time to ensure that all workers have ownership in our recovery.

Sincerely,

Patrick McHenry
Ranking Member

Author: Margaret Beveridge