Sep 30, 2011 - 7:15am

House Appropriations Committee Stands Up Against Regulatory Onslaught

Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division
On September 29, the House Appropriations Committee released their draft Fiscal Year 2012 Labor/Health and Human Services funding bill.  Clearly the committee has been listening to the public’s concerns about regulatory overreach and excessive union favoritism.  The bill includes a number of provisions that will protect job creators from intrusive and unnecessary regulation, as well as restore a semblance of balance between workers, employers, and union organizers.
Summarizing quickly, the bill would stop implementation or enforcement of:
  • ·         The NLRB’s rule on quickie elections that seeks to deny employers a chance to give workers balanced information about joining a union.
  • ·         The NLRB’s rule requiring employers to post union organizing rights with little mention of workers’ rights to refrain from such activity.
  • ·         The NLRB’s recent ruling in the Lamon’s Gasket case that deemphasizes the importance of secret ballots in union elections in favor of card check.
  • ·         The NLRB’s recent ruling in the Specialty Health Care case that allows unions to gerrymander the electorate in union elections so they can organize small units that don’t represent a majority of workers.
  • ·         The NLRB’s proposal for “cyber” card check that would allow off-site electronic voting in union elections, undermining the secret ballot and potentially exposing workers to coercion to support a union.
  • ·         The use of Project Labor Agreements in government construction contracts.  PLAs inflate the cost of these projects to taxpayers and give unions a leg up over non-union contractors.
  • ·         The Department of Labor’s proposal on Wage Disclosures, a proposal that would burden employers with new paperwork requirements and enforcement actions.
  • ·         The Department of Labor’s “Bridge to Justice” program, which seems intended to encourage additional wage and hour litigation against employers.
  • ·         The Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the so-called “persuader rule,” changes that would deter employers from seeking expert advice from lawyers or consultants on union issues and impinge on speech rights.
And the list goes on.  There are plenty of hurdles along the way, but employers will breathe a lot easier if this bill becomes law. 
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About the Author

Glenn Spencer Headshot
Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division

Glenn Spencer is senior vice president of the Employment Policy division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.