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Proposed Federal Legislation Promises Farrier Hiring Changes

ABC Test will redefine employee classification and ban the recruitment of independent contractors


Pictured Above: Farriers make significant investments in tools and equipment, face fixed costs regardless of whether work is performed, and their opportunity for loss is greater. These are considered evidence of being an independent contractor under the federal Common Law Rules.

First in a Series

This is the first in a series examining the potential effects of the federal Protecting the Right to Organize Act on farriers’ hiring practices and their hoof-care businesses.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Legislation in both houses of Congress titled Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act intends to redefine employee.
  • The bills call for implementing the ABC Test, which would prohibit farriers from hiring independent contractors.
  • Farriers will be given the option to convert independent contractors to employee status and assume the associated legal requirements.

Legislation that aims to impose the most sweeping changes to national labor law in 86 years is swiftly moving through Congress and promises to dramatically change the hiring practices of some farriers.

On its surface, House Bill 842 and Senate Bill 420 — both titled Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021 — do not appear to be relevant for most farriers. They expressly state that the purpose of the bills is to expand “labor protections related to employees’ rights to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace.” Although the farrier industry likely was not the inspiration when Rep. Robert Scott (D-Va.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote the respective bills, the definition of employee that is included in each…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for more than 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.
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Todd Santoro

Ohio farrier Todd Santoro started horseshoeing in 1994. He works with a variety of disciplines including dressage, eventing, general pleasure and hunter/jumper. He earned his law degree from Northern Ohio University and has taught sports and business law. He serves on the International Professional Farriers Association Board of Directors.

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