Home Small Business Pressure is growing on the Senate to pass the PRO Act

Pressure is growing on the Senate to pass the PRO Act


Back in March, the US House of Representatives passed what is known as the PRO Act.

Although the law is becoming famous for its content about trade unions and employee organization rights, it also aims to radically change the job market for freelancers and independent contractors. .

However, the PRO Act faces one or two major setbacks in the US Senate. You can expect to hear more about the PRO Act in the coming days or weeks.

Last week, Amazon workers voted against the consolidation. Now it appear Union pro-union lobbyists will increase pressure on Senate Democrats to bring the PRO Act to President Joe Biden for his signature.

The only way that could happen is if the Senate votes to end the vote. And right now, that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Whether you are an independent contractor, freelancer or employee small business owner, you will want to keep a close eye on this bill as it is debated over the coming weeks. It can mean great to all.



Effect of the PRO Act for small businesses, independent contractors and freelancers

Let’s see what’s in the bill and what has been said about it so far, mostly in the debate between the US House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives passed the PRO Act (or Protect the Right to Organize) on March 9 by a 225-206 vote.

On March 11, Professional Act (HR842) was admitted in the Senate and referred to the Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). HR842 will be debated on the committee before being submitted to the Senate for a vote.

PRO Act and independent contractors

HR842, as written now, applies California’s ABC test to independent contractors. Here is the content for the ABC test:

“An individual performing any service will be considered an employee (except as provided in the previous sentence) and not an independent contractor, unless—

  • (A) The individual is not controlled and directed in relation to the performance of the service, both under the service contract and in practice;
  • (B) Services performed outside the employer’s usual business process; and
  • (C) An individual usually engages in an independently established trade, profession or profession that has the same nature as the business related to the service being performed.

In other words, the PRO Act would change the 1099 classification of independent contractors. Many people currently working as freelancers or subcontractors are currently working in work or services “beyond the employer’s usual business process”.

US Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, says that ABC standards will eliminate contract-based work.

“It will be a disaster for independent contractors,” Stefanik said. “The vast majority of independent contractors like that status and (the PRO Act) would take that choice out of millions of workers.”

Stefanik enacted a law called the Modern Workers Empowerment Act, which she called the bill to “protect their right and choice to become an independent contractor”.

Professional and Trade Union Act

Current law in 27 states prevents companies from requiring their employees to pay union fees or charges as a condition of employment. These laws are called “right to work” laws.

Labor union advocates say “the law of the right to work crushes unions. The language of the PRO Act states that an employee may be required to pay a union fee “regardless of State or Territory law”. Employees who refuse to pay may be fired. The employment rights law will be revoked.

PRO Act and the union organization

Under the PRO Act, employers cannot hold mandatory meetings to protest against union formation or to share the truth about what trade union means.

The PRO Act also tightens the time it takes to negotiate collective bargaining agreements. It requires the employer and union to initiate negotiations within 10 days of the written request and if no agreement is reached within 90 days, either party can request a tie. federal interpreter.

Employers will be required to provide all employees’ names and contact information to the union. The employer will not be allowed to replace workers participating in the strike.

The National Bureau of Industrial Relations (NRLB) fines

The PRO Act provides a good structure for the NLRB to impose civil penalties. The penalties will be up to $ 50,000 for a labor offense or up to $ 100,000 for a multiple violation.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Response to the PRO Act

According to the NFIB, 70% of its members oppose the repeal of the state’s “Right to work” law. Nearly 100% of NFIB members believe that small businesses can hire independent contractors to carry out the essential tasks of their business.

The NFIB also opposes the language of the PRO Act which requires employers to provide personal contact information of all their employees to unions without workers’ consent.

Kevin Kuhlman, Senior Director of Federal Government Relations at NFIB said: “This is a bill with labor policy proposals that are not only rejected in court, but also rejected by Congress in the many decade. “If passed, the PRO Act of 2019 will put employees’ personal information at risk, exposing small businesses to unrelated secondary boycotts, imposing union fees on employees regardless of their own. must be a member of a union or not and dramatically change decades of employment discipline. . “

“Small business optimism is at historic levels and owners are ramping up hiring, salaries and investments,” he added. “This damaging bill will hold back such huge profits.”

President Biden strongly supports the PRO Act

The President clearly supports the PRO Act as part of his union support agenda. In a recent statement, he said, “The PRO Act protects workers’ right to strike – a fundamental economic right – and participates in boycotts and other acts of solidarity with workers at companies. else without penalty.

“It makes it clear that employers must not force employees to give up their right to participate in class-action or class action lawsuits together. The bill also closes loopholes in Federal labor law by prohibiting employers from misclassifying workers as independent contractors and preventing workers from denying remedies due to immigration status. their.

“It establishes a broad standard of general employers, allowing workers to bargain collectively with all companies controlling their terms and conditions of employment. The bill allows unions to charge a fair share fee to cover the costs of collective bargaining and management of union contracts for all workers covered by the terms of the contract. HR 842 restores workers’ access to union elections and ensures results are respected. “

What’s next?

While it now seems unlikely that the Senate will vote to end voting, an obstacle to passing the PRO Act, it certainly is not the death knell for the bill.

Parts of the PRO Act may pass Biden to his signature, and if that happens, it could lead to major changes to your business.

Photo: Depositphotos




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