What is the PRO Act?
On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The bill has moved on to the Senate and, if potential changes in filibuster rules allow it to pass, it will be the most significant labor law change in decades. Labor unions are pushing this legislation to strengthen their position and power, which could negatively impact NC and SC employers.
How can it impact you?
The biggest risks to employers would result when…
- “Right to work” is eliminated: Employees would be required to pay labor union dues to remain employed, even for those employees who voted against the union and don’t support the union.
- Employee communication is limited from the employer and expanded for the labor union: Employers would no longer be able to host mandatory anti-union discussions, while labor unions would have full access to all employee contact information.
- Employers would need to provide personal employee information to labor unions: This includes information such as home address, cell phone number, and email address, so the unions can make personal home visits to employees (companies are not allowed to make home visits).
- “Independent contractor” definition is narrowed: The bill would significantly limit who can be qualified as an independent contractor. California recently adopted the ABC test, which significantly limits who can be qualified as an independent contractor. The PRO Act would adopt the California ABC test.
- Secret ballots could be overridden through the use of “card checks.”
- Arbitrated first contracts are allowed: The PRO Act would allow newly certified unions to seek arbitration and mediation to settle impasses in contract negotiations.
- Elections are damaged: Attorneys for employers are deemed “persuaders,” the campaign period is severely shortened, “card checks” can lead to union certification even if the employees vote “no,” and elections can occur off site.
What can you do?
Catapult will remain diligent in watching this bill as it passes through Congress. We will send you timely updates and you can visit the employer advocacy page on our website for more insight.
- While Senators Burr (NC), Tillis (NC), Graham (SC), and Scott (SC) currently oppose this bill, you are invited to contact them to express your concerns and thank them for their position. Visit the Senate website.
- On the site, conduct a search using the Find Your Senators pull-down menu in the upper right corner (select your state and click Go).
- On the results page you’ll find a link to the Senator’s website, their contact information, and links to an online contact form (forms vary by Senator).
Recommended Pro Act articles: