Union Changes Under the Biden Administration
New President, new union changes? Law firm Troutman Pepper spoke on this week’s webinar about what they predict will be more union-friendly legislation that will be coming from this administration.
We know that the Biden administration plans to shake up union organizing efforts. The plans that we expect to see from the Biden administration include:
- Overturn major Trump-era policies
- Reinstatement of rules allowing employee use of employer email systems for union organizing
- Revision of election procedures that allow a return to “ambush elections” that tend to favor unions.
- Easing of restrictions on non-employee/union organizer access to employer property for the purposes of organizing
- Returning to a less-stringent, join-employer standard which exposes more employers to union organizing.
The “Protecting the Right to Organize” (PRO) Act was passed on March 9, 2021 by the House of Representatives. If enacted, the PRO Act would result in major union-friendly changes to the NLRA.
- Eliminate “right to work” laws – with such a clause, the union gets full union dues from members and at least fair share fees from people who refuse to join. Without it, the union gets no dues from those people who opt not to join.
- More picketing and strikes – The Pro Act would allow “secondary picketing”, meaning that unions would be able to picket a neutral employer for the purpose of pressuring it to cease doing business with the primary employer. The PRO Act would also expressly allow intermittent strikes.
- Elimination of employer’s right to permanently replace economic striking – the PRO Act would allow employees to strike with assurance that they can return to work whenever they desire.
- Enhanced remedies and penalties – the PRO Act would permit liquidated damages, civil penalties. And statutory remedies for cases of discrimination and retaliation.
- Banned mandatory arbitration agreements – the PRO Act would reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems Corporation Vs Lewis, when the Court confirmed that class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements do not validate the NLRA. This may increase the number of class action lawsuits, which are expensive and time-consuming for both employers and employees.
- Use of email systems – the PRO Act would allow employees to use their employer’s email system for union and other organizing activities.
- Independent contractor test – permit more workers to be classified as employees and participate in the collective bargaining process.
Troutman Pepper suggests contacting your Senator about voting on this bill.
Watch the whole video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXRsfJQXaTk