Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.) today introduced legislation that discourages businesses from relocating or contracting out call centers overseas. The United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act incentivizes domestic business investments, tracks the overseas relocation of call centers and increases transparency for U.S. consumers interacting with call centers.
“Workers deserve the peace of mind that comes with job security, and consumers have the right to know their money isn’t rewarding companies for sending American jobs overseas. Nevadans know all too well the devastating job loss that follows when American companies outsource jobs – families in Reno are still reeling from Wells Fargo’s decision to relocate 340 call center jobs last year. I’m proud to introduce legislation that fights for American workers, encourages businesses to remain in the U.S. and increases transparency for consumers.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Casey, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Joe Manchin, III (D-W.Va.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) also cosponsored this bill.
Call centers employ approximately four million people in the United States, but over the past decade, the U.S. has lost more than 200,000 call center jobs to overseas relocation. This bill would help to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not rewarding companies that offshore their customer service work and would give consumers the power to decide where to have their calls handled. It would require call centers to notify the Department of Labor before relocating or contracting out work overseas, and failure to comply would result in fines. Call centers would be mandated to disclose their location at the start of calls with U.S. customers, who would reserve the right to request the call be transferred to a customer service agent who is physically located in the U.S.
The bill would also require a publicly available list, kept by the Department of Labor, of all employers that relocated their call center or customer service work overseas. Federal agencies must give preference to employers that do not appear on the list when awarding federal contracts. The Department of Labor would also be mandated to prepare a report on the amount and location of call center work being performed for the federal government.