The PRO Act is Anti-Worker
Democrats in Congress have reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) that was originally passed by the House of Representatives in February 2020. Backed by the Biden administration, this legislation would dramatically alter federal labor law and would result in jobs destroyed and income lost during these challenging times.
The PRO Act is the opposite of pro-worker. It puts the interests of labor union bosses ahead of American workers and taxpayers. It is an attack on freedom and choice in the workplace. It is an attempt to handcuff workers to unions by eliminating workers’ constitutionally protected rights and privacies. This bill would undermine the flexibility American workers rely on and need regarding gainful employment.
Included PRO Act provisions:
- Ban Right to Work laws, which prohibit employers and unions from requiring employees to join a union or pay fees as a condition of employment.
- Codify California’s “ABC” test, which threatens millions of individuals who work as independent contractors and infringes on the flexibility and freedom they value in their job.
- Infringe on worker privacy by requiring employers to provide an employee’s personal contact information to unions, including home address and phone numbers. Labor union officials “use this information to confront workers anywhere and everywhere, often in intimidating manners due to the leeway they are given in communication with workers,” according to an analysis of the bill by Americans for Prosperity.
- Codify “ambush election rules,” which shorten an election timeframe, making it difficult for employees to discuss and learn about the elections before they occur.
- Authorize secondary boycotts, which allow unions to target any company through picketing and protests even if the issue is unrelated to a labor dispute.
- Codify “persuader regulation,” which eliminates attorney-client privilege as it requires labor attorneys and firms to disclose communication about their relationships with employers.
This legislation would negatively impact millions of American workers, undermining the flexibility and freedom that have empowered workers over the years. Instead, lawmakers should adopt “employment policies that evolve even further to meet the needs of families, consumers, and businesses in the 21st century,” according to Americans for Prosperity.
That would entail:
- Enacting reforms that empower individuals and businesses to use independent contracting as they see fit.
- Providing more flexibility to businesses that want to offer their independent contractors voluntary benefits.
- Allowing independent contractors to use innovative resources, such as digital marketplace companies, to grow their businesses without taking away their independence.
- Putting independent contractors on a more equal playing field in pursuing optional benefits outside of traditional employment models.