Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Contact your Senators and Representatives today and ask that they include language industry freelancers, self-employed professionals, and small-medium companies in S.3548, or the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)
Congress is preparing legislation to provide relief to working Americans who have experienced economic loss due to COVID-19. Both groups are extremely vulnerable in this crisis, as the workforce is 80% freelancers, who do not necessarily have access to unemployment, sick leave, and family medical leave benefits, and whose in-person work, particularly for interpreters, has all but disappeared. At the same time, language companies face a significant loss of income as well, and nearly all have reported economic hardship because of this pandemic.
The Association of Language Companies, with the assistance of JNCL-NCLIS, has released a one-pager summary of results from a recent survey of the impact of COVID-19 on freelancers and small business
InterpretAmerica's recent COVID-19 message highlights pertenatint statistics from the CSA Research report "The State of the Linguist Supply Chain: Translators and Interpreters in 2020".
The American Translators Association (ATA) outlines the importance of work done by freelance interpreters and translators as well as other self-employed professionals and small to medium-sized language service companies.
Contact your representatives today and urge them to include language industry freelancers, self-employed, professional, and small-medium companies in federal aid relief. Use the resources provided above to create your own message, or take from the sample below.
STEP 2: Prepare your talking points or email message. Below is a sample phone or email script.
Hello, my name is __________________. I live in ____________________ (provide City and Zip Code, this information is collected to ensure that you are a constituent of the district).
I am calling/writing to you today to urge my representative to support language industry professionals by including freelancers, self-employed, and small companies in federal aid relief.
Interpreters have lost and continue to lose significant amounts of their income due to the cancellation of conferences, medical appointments, and many other in-person events such as government meetings, civil and administrative court cases and hearings, interpreting in the schools, and other on-site interpreting assignments. Translators are increasingly seeing a reduction in work, which will be greatly exacerbated as businesses seek to cut costs in response to their loss of revenue.
The latest research shows that 75% of linguists globally are freelancers. Strikingly, only 6% of linguists were employed directly where they work, be it a hospital, court system or international organization.
Nearly all respondents in a survey conducted by the Association for Language Companies (85%) indicated already experiencing economic loss due to COVID-19 related challenges.
Under the current eligibility requirements provided by the Small Business Association (SBA), 54% of small language companies and freelancers are unable to receive the federal aid relief they need.
As a language advocate, I believe that language industry is a cornerstone of our communities and our economy.
Thank you for your time and commitment to supporting the language industry.
Again, I urge you to pass federal aid relief legislation that includes and respects language industry professionals, including freelancers, self-employed, and small-medium companies.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
edited 3/26/20 to include House members