U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced legislation that would include the gig workforce in the category of workers who can benefit from equity compensation.
The Gig Worker Equity Compensation Act (H.R. 2990) would help gig workers share in the economic resurgence while preserving their flexibility and independence.
“How people choose to work is changing. Our technology-driven economy is embracing this shift, Washington needs to keep up,” McHenry, the Republican leader on the House Financial Services Committee, said. “By giving these non-traditional workers access to equity compensation—just like traditional employees—we can ensure they benefit from the growth of the companies they are making successful. While Democrats attempt to stifle this growing sector of the workforce, my bill ensures they retain the flexibility they need while giving them the opportunity to grow wealth. This is a win for our capital markets, job creators, and gig workers.”
McHenry points out that about a quarter of the U.S. workforce participates in the gig economy or non-traditional work — whether as a rideshare driver, food delivery courier, or sharing their property through a platform like Airbnb. Further, about 10 percent of workers rely on alternative work arrangements for their primary source of income. These workers do not want to be bound by constraints like an office, set hours, or a traditional employer-employee relationship. This bill seeks to provide additional flexibility to support these workers.
In November 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to propose rules to provide equity compensation options for gig workers. McHenry welcomed this initiative and is committed to working with the SEC to implement his broader proposal.