WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), and 11 Republican colleagues introduced the Employee Rights Act of 2023, which would uphold the right of workers to choose whether to join a union and protect them from being intimidated or coerced into participating in union activities. The legislation would also provide clarity on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) joint-employer standard and ensure businesses are not held liable for other employers that are not under their control.
“Being pro-worker means defending the rights of all workers, including those who decide it is not in their best interest to form or join a union,” said Dr. Cassidy. “No American should be intimidated or coerced into joining a union. This legislation protects workers’ right to choose what’s best for their career, whether that is to join a union or not participate at all.”
“While the Biden administration and Washington Democrats continue to bend to the demands of big labor unions and special interest groups, Republicans remain focused on finding forward-thinking solutions that give our workforce and small business owners stability and flexibility,” said Senator Scott. “We should always resolve to empower and encourage Americans with the ability to provide for their families. I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining me in the fight to protect workers.”
“Washington Democrats have long bowed to the demands of union bosses by prioritizing radical labor policies that harm small businesses and workers,” said Senator Thune. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this common-sense bill that upholds individuals’ ability to choose to work as an independent contractor and ensures workers’ rights are protected against coercion from union bosses and the Biden administration’s heavy-handed labor agenda.”
Cassidy, Scott, and Thune are joined by U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), James Risch (R-ID), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).
U.S. Representative Rick Allen (R-GA-12) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The modern American worker wants flexibility and choice. Unfortunately, the overreaching Biden administration and Washington Democrats would rather force their radical labor agenda on the American people,” said Representative Allen. “The Employee Rights Act fights back against this overreach and instead protects workers’ rights and privacy, as well as empowers entrepreneurs and independent contractors. It is long past time that our labor laws stand with the 21st century worker, and I am proud to lead this effort in the House of Representatives.”
Specifically, the Employee Rights Act would:
- Protect workers’ right to a secret ballot union election.
- Require unions to receive permission from each member to use his or her union dues for purposes other than collective bargaining such as political contributions.
- Limit the amount of employee personal information a union receives during an organizing drive.
- Provide clarity on the joint-employer standard by stating that businesses should not be held liable for other employers that are not under their control.
- Protect independent contractors and clarify the definition of “employee.”
Last month, Cassidy and Scott called out the radical Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which erodes workers’ rights and forces Americans to unionize to prop up and support large labor unions.
The Employee Rights Act is endorsed by the Associated Builders and Contractors, American Experiment, Alaska Policy Forum Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Return, ALEC Action, Beacon Impact, California Business and Industrial Alliance, California Policy Center, Center for Union Facts, Center for Individual Freedom, Club for Growth, Commonwealth Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Freedom Foundation, Heritage Action for America, Independent Women’s Voice, Institute for the American Worker, International Franchise Association, The LIBRE Initiative, Initiative Mackinac Public Policy Center, Maine Policy Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, Job Creators Network, National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Taxpayers Union, National Restaurant Association, Nevada Policy Research Institute, Open Competition Center, Retail Industry Leaders Association, RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, US Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, and the Workplace Policy Institute.