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January 13, 2020

U.S. House Will Vote On PRO Act Before President’s Day

According to Politico, the U.S. House of Representatives will schedule a vote on H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act within the next month. As the news outlet noted, the decision came hours after 72 House Democrats told Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a letter that the bill “should be brought to the House floor swiftly.”

The legislation would allow employees to form unions under certain circumstances by “card check” (informal collection of authorization forms from a majority within the bargaining unit) and, as Connecting the Dots has explained before, it also would codify the Obama-era joint-employer standard into law and change requirements for independent contractor status.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the PRO Act also includes provisions that would eliminate “right-to-work” protections for workers across the country (the 27 states that have already passed right-to-work laws would be impacted) and could interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses to secure important legal advice on matters involving complex labor law.

If MSCI member companies are interested in weighing in against this legislation, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which MSCI is a member of, has created a grassroots portal to do so. The CDW also has created a grassroots toolkit to help interested parties understand the provisions of the bill. The toolkit includes a video explaining the legislation and a leave-behind for any meetings with members of Congress.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said the PRO Act would “undermine worker rights, ensnare employers in unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force individual Americans to pay union dues regardless of their wishes.” Interested parties also can use the Chamber’s website to send a message to lawmakers about this legislation.