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5 Things You Need to Know About the PRO Act
May 3, 2021
The PRO Act Could Reshape American Labor Law; Here’s What You Need to Know
Employers should know how the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act is set to reshape American labor law. The bill itself has the intention of “modernizing” work in the United States but could offer far more complications than simplicity for those managing large workforces.
Expect this bill to be a massive shake-up to American labor laws that have been in existence since 1935, which was originally called the National Labor Relations Act. This shift could significantly impact the nature of work and business in the United States, complicating union negotiations, worker rights, and business models for the foreseeable future. Simply put, many of the strategies that employers have used to prevent the rise of unions in their workforce will be eliminated.
Business owners should stay informed well before this bill becomes law and complicates labor negotiations for years to come.
Five Key Points of The PRO Act
If this bill passes through the Senate, business owners might need to rethink their approach to managing a workforce. Deviations from these new provisions could result in a business experiencing massive fines and penalties, and workers will be given rights that they never had before.
It is best to familiarize yourself with the expected changes before they are enacted. We’ve picked out five key points for business managers and owners.
1. An End to Right to Work Laws in 27 Different States
The “Right to Work” law guarantees that “no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or not to join, nor to pay dues to a labor union.” This will end with the PRO Act, giving workers more freedom to join or not join a union.
2. Anti-Union Meetings to be Abolished
Employers will no longer be able to force workers into attending anti-union meetings or events. They will also be required to offer more transparency to their workers, including the publication of worker’s rights, along with the disclosure of whether or not the employer has hired any anti-union consultants.
3. Employers Can No Longer Permanently Replace Workers
Should a workforce or union vote to strike, the employer will no longer have the power to permanently replace them during a strike. This will likely change the power dynamic during complicated labor negotiations, giving more control to workers should a strike occur. Expect labor negotiations to be highly complex in the future with this increased leverage being given to workers.
4. Prevents the Classification of Workers as Independent Contractors
Employers will no longer be allowed to classify workers as independent contractors. This will likely complicate workers’ contracts that have been hired on as part-time or are considered freelance.
Going forward, should the PRO Act be passed, employers will be forced to pay full wages, offer benefits, and any other rights that are typically associated with full-time work.
5. A Complete Ban of Proactive Lockouts
Employers have long since used proactive lockouts to disrupt a union’s objectives and complicate labor negotiations well before they begin. Employers will no longer have this ability and will have to rethink their labor negotiation strategy should a lockout or strike occur.
Navigate the Complications of the PRO Act with AFIMAC
In short, employers should expect that this bill will give significantly more rights to workers and complicate labor negotiations for years to come. Businesses will need to rethink their strategy during strikes and labor negotiations and adapt to the changes, should this bill be passed. It will give workers more flexibility, allowing for the creation of unions, shifting the power dynamic between worker and employer for the foreseeable future.
The complications of the PRO Act are best navigated with a third party that is highly experienced in contentious labor negotiations. Trust the experience of AFIMAC to offer consultation services to help any business with the challenges of any upcoming labor relations issues, especially those tied to the PRO Act.