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May 6, 2019

PRO Act Would Revive Obama Era Employment And Labor Policies

Last week, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate formally introduced H.R. 2472, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would make it significantly easier for employees to organize. The bill has significant support – 100 cosponsors in the House and 40 in the Senate where the bill goes by the number S.1306.

This bill, which is opposed by the White House and Republican members of Congress, attempts to implement a number of policies originally put forward several years ago by the Obama administration. These policies, which are generally opposed by business groups, have been struck down by courts, opposed on a bipartisan basis in Congress, or have been abandoned by the federal agencies charged with implementing them.

The changes include, but are not limited to, codifying the Obama-era joint-employer standard into law, banning right-to-work laws, forcing union representation without an election and changing requirements for independent contractor status. The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on the bill on May 8 and likely will vote on it within the next few weeks. U.S. House leaders could schedule a vote on the legislation in early summer.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace has outlined on its website how each of the proposals included in this bill would affect employers. Click here to read that information.