By Katherine F. Mendez and Samantha L. Brooks

Seyfarth Synopsis: As the 2020 presidential election approaches, both Congress and the presidential candidates are taking notice of future of work issues. A newly formed Congressional caucus aims to address future of work issues with legislation and education.

Employers are keenly aware of the impact that future of work technologies and concepts — including artificial intelligence, the gig economy and worker classification, and other automation technologies — may have on the workplace in the coming years and decades.

Although Congress has not introduced any specific legislation to address potential future of work challenges, on January 15, one month after a Congressional Hearing on the future of work, a bipartisan group of lawmakers launched the Congressional Future of Work Caucus, co-chaired by Congressman Bryan Steil (R-WI) and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).

According to Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, the Caucus plans to: “develop a clearinghouse of legislation relating the future of work in Congress, get continued participation and education of our members on the various aspects of the future of work, and finally, produce a national strategy that includes legislative wins for our country.”  Blunt Rochester also said that the Caucus “was created to educate Members and their staff, stakeholders, and the public on the challenges and opportunities prevalent in U.S. economy,” including “the growing effects of automation on the workforce, the emerging impact of artificial intelligence on society, the changing nature of the social contract, and the possible disruption & opportunities presented by technology in the U.S. economy.”

Of course, any plans for the Future of Work Caucus could be helped or impeded by the results of the 2020 presidential election. In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing and reporting on the candidates’ positions on future of work issues, including the gig economy and worker classification, gig workers’ collective bargaining rights, worker training and artificial intelligence, and minimum wage and employee benefits. Stay tuned!

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Counseling & Solutions Team.