On February 4, 2021, Democrats reintroduced a major piece of legislation aimed at overhauling American Labor Law. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (“PRO Act”) would strengthen worker organizing in several ways:
- Create financial penalties for employers that interfere with union drives;
- Allow workers to bring lawsuits accusing their employers of suppressing Union organizing;
- Make it easier for Union’s to win “card check” elections in certain situations;
- Mandate mediation when workers and union’s fail to reach initial collective bargaining agreements;
- Make it harder for businesses to classify employees as independent contractors (who are not able to unionize); and
- Invalidate “right to work laws” which bar unions from collecting dues or agency fees from non-members.
Business groups have already signaled their strong opposition to the PRO Act. Marty Walsh, Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Labor said that he was looking at both sides of how the PRO Act would affect workers and businesses.
We will keep a close eye on this proposed legislation and update the blog regularly regarding this topic.