App-based work helped me support my family. The PRO Act could take it away

National App-Based Work Alliance Will Advocate for Solutions That Preserve Worker Independence and Access to Benefits

By Majik B.

Throughout my life, I’ve known what it’s like to go through hardship. I was homeless and living out on the street for over four years, moving around and trying to do whatever I could to provide for my family. Then last year, I settled down in Arizona, but with a new baby on the way, I knew my family needed some additional income. That’s when someone told me about Instacart, and after some thought and prayer I knew this was a good option for me and my family.

Flexibility is key for me. I need the ability to schedule around my work as a repairman, while also having the freedom to take my oldest child that has medical issues to appointments when needed. The flexibility also allows me to be there to see my baby grow up. I can be there for her whenever she needs me, take care of her in the morning when she wakes up, and be back in the evening for family time without having to worry about missing a shift or being fired.

The flexibility of app-based work is perfect for me and my family. However, I am nervous because I continue to hear about legislation in Congress called the PRO Act that could take away the flexibility that we rely on.

The PRO Act is meant to help workers, but some provisions in it could have the opposite effect. Primarily, the bill could reclassify many independent workers – including app-based workers like me – as employees. Which means I could lose the flexibility that allows me to take my daughter to medical appointments and spend time with my baby.

I think if lawmakers talked to app-based workers, they’d see that we’re really happy with our current setup. We are able to pick and choose when we work and for how long. We can turn the apps off whenever we’d like and sign back on whenever we don’t have other obligations.

If the PRO Act passes, all of that could be gone, and it would be really hard for my family and I to make ends meet. Thankfully, Arizona’s U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly haven’t signed onto the PRO Act, and I’m happy to see that they are listening to workers like me. App-based work has truly changed my life, and it’s changing a lot of lives in Arizona and around the country. We should be protecting this life-changing source of income, not passing bills like the PRO Act that could put it at risk.

Majik B. is an Instacart shopper from Arizona