|Tuesday, March 9, 2021|
Floor Schedule and Procedure:
H.R. 842 – Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 (Rep. Scott (VA) – Education and Labor)
This bill strengthens the federal law that protects workers’ right to unionize, holds employers accountable for violating workers’ rights, and ensures unions can have free, fair, and safe elections.
This bill provides that workers will have timely access to justice when suffering unlawful retaliation such as being fired for supporting a union, gives the NLRB the power to enforce its own rulings, allows unions to collect “fair share” fees from the workers they represent notwithstanding so-called “right to work” laws, and removes prohibitions on workers acting in solidarity with workers in other companies, and supports workers’ right to strike.
The bill authorizes civil penalties for companies that violate workers’ rights, prevents employers from misclassifying their workers, ensures workers are entitled to remedies under the NLRA due to their immigration status, and requires employers to post notices that inform workers of their rights under the NLRA. The bill also provides an effective remedy when an employer unlawfully interferes in union elections.
Click here for bill text.
Click here for a fact sheet from the Education and Labor Committee.
Click here for a section-by-section from the Education and Labor Committee.
Click here for messaging guidance and FAQs from the Education and Labor Committee.
The Rule provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and Labor.
The Rule makes in order 19 amendments and allows for amendments to be offered en bloc. A full list of amendments can be found here and below.
Clarifies that nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect the jurisdictional standards of the NLRB, including such standards that measure the size of a business with respect to revenues, that are used to determine whether an industry is affecting commerce for purposes of determining coverage under the National Labor Relations Act.
Strikes Section 111 in the bill, which overturns prohibitions on unions and employers agreeing to require employees to pay a fee covering the costs of bargaining and representation.
Strikes Sec. 202 of the bill, which codifies the Obama Administration’s “Persuader Rule” requiring employers to disclose arrangements they enter into with consultants to indirectly persuade employees on how to exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
Clarifies that the amendments made under this Act shall not affect the privacy of employees with respect to voter lists provided to labor organizations by employers pursuant to elections directed by the Board.
Requires a labor organization to receive express consent from the employee before using his or her union dues for any purpose not directly related to the labor organization’s collective bargaining or contract administration, and that the employee must renew the authorization annually.
Requires employers that voluntarily recognize a union with majority support to post a notice informing employees of a right to petition for decertification within 45 days. Requires that, if a party to an election files a charge alleging an unfair labor practice, the National Labor Relations Board must continue to process the election and impound the ballots until the charge has been withdrawn, dismissed, or settled.
Prohibits an employer from entering into an agreement with a union that it will not oppose the organizing.
States that the Act may not take effect until the Secretary of Labor certifies that the bill will not have an adverse impact on rates of employment in the United States.
Jackson Lee Amendment
Provides whistleblower protections to employees who report violations of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) with this amendment covering employees of employers as well as employees of labor unions.
Strikes language in the bill making it an unfair labor practice for employers to permanently replace striking workers and language that protects strikes regardless of their duration, scope, frequency or intermittence.
Levin (MI) Amendment
Directs the National Labor Relations Board to develop a system and procedures to conduct union representation elections electronically, as allowed by the underlying legislation.
Clarifies that nothing in this Act shall affect the definitions of “employer” or “employee” under any state law for wage, hour, worker’s compensation or unemployment insurance.
Requires GAO, within one-and-a-half years from the date of enactment, to prepare a report on the impact—on workers and businesses across different sectors—of the changes made by the bill to the definition of “employee” (the “ABC” test) and the definition of “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act. The President is required to consider the report and, within 60 days, may recommend that Congress modify one or both of these definitions or make no recommendation. Expresses the Sense of the House that the House shall consider whether to accept, reject, or modify any recommendations received from the President.
Specifies the National Labor Relations Board’s regulations regarding notices to inform workers of their rights must address requirements for posting notices in the languages spoken by the employees.
Directs the GAO to conduct a report on sectoral bargaining in other countries.
Establishes a 120-day timeline for the tripartite arbitration process between the employees/labor organization and employer in order to ensure that the arbitration process is not indefinitely drawn out.
Torres (NY) Amendment
Revises the Labor-Management and Disclosure Act of 1959 to require the Department of Labor to make disclosures under the persuader rule publicly available in an accessible and searchable electronic form, and through a secure software application for use on an electronic device.
Strike the language in the bill requiring that a pre-election hearing begin no later than eight days after a notice of such hearing is served, and replaces the provision with language requiring at least 14 days between the filing of an election petition and a hearing taking place.
Wilson (SC) Amendment
Replacing the bill’s section permitting unions and employers to agree to require that covered employees pay a fee to cover the costs of bargaining and representation, with a section amending the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act to prohibit such agreements.
Possible Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1319 – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Rep. Yarmuth – Budget) (Subject to a Rule)
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”