Congressional Democrats Reintroduce Broad Labor Reform Bill
February 4 Democrats in Congress reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The bill is strongly backed by organized labor, as it includes over a dozen provisions drastically altering federal labor law in line with their interests, and it is the AFL-CIO’s top priority for 2021.
The bill’s proposed 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 undermining independent contractor status. The House version of the bill already has 198 cosponsors, including 2 Republicans who previously cosponsored the bill. The House voted primarily along party-lines to approve the bill in Congress’ last session, but the Republican-controlled Senate did not take it up for consideration.
The sponsors of the legislation have provided text of the bill, a section-by-section analysis, and a fact sheet. The PRO Act is also supported by President Joe Biden and the Secretary-designate for the U.S. Department of Labor, Marty Walsh.
With Democrats in control of both chambers of the 117th Congress, it is increasingly likely that the bill will progress further than it has in the past. IWLA is working with allies through the Coalition for Democratic Workplace to highlight the harmful impacts this legislation would have on employees and employers still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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