The Dangerous Ideas Behind the PRO Act

Friday, July 19, 2019 - 11:30am

Labor unions are promoting a bill that would radically rewrite labor law in the United States . The proposal, called the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842), is a litany of almost every failed idea from the past 30 years of labor policy. The PRO Act would undermine worker rights, drag employers into unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force individual Americans to pay union dues regardless of their wishes. The PRO Act would:

-Undermine secret ballot elections—forcing workers to make their choice about unionizing in public and exposing them to threats and coercion from union agents.

-Impose on the full country California’s stringent definition of “independent contractor” — denying individuals the ability to work independently, threatening the emerging “gig” economy, and taking away the flexibility that has allowed American businesses of all sizes to grow.

-Authorize “secondary boycotts” — allowing unions to launch disruptive protests and pickets against any employer, even those that have nothing to do with a labor dispute.

-Codify an expansive “joint employer” standard—meaning that businesses could suddenly face liability for workplaces they don’t control and workers they don'’t employ.

-Eliminate all state Right-to-Work laws, which protect workers in more than half the country against being fired if they decline to pay union dues.

-Impose mandatory union contracts if a union and employer do not reach an agreement. This would undermine the collective bargaining process, saddle employers with potentially unaffordable contracts, and deprive workers of the right to vote on the terms and conditions of their own employment.

-Increase needless class action lawsuits by banning employment arbitration agreements.

-Deny employers any role in the union election process, which will ensure that workers can’t get balanced information about a critical workplace decision.

-Interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses, particularly small businesses, to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters.

-Impose personal liability on managers for alleged NLRA violations along with penalties as high as $100,000.

-Take away the ability of employers to keep their workplaces open during strikes.

The House of Representatives passed the PRO Act in 2020, and it is back again. Members of Congress need to stand up for the rights of America’s workers and employers and stop the PRO Act. No co-sponsorship, no statements of support, and a “no” vote every time.

Contact Glenn Spencer or Sean Redmond at 202-463-5722 for more information.