Hatch, Alexander, Price Introduce Bicameral Employees Rights Act

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican in the United States Senate as well as a member and former chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Employee Rights Act in the United States Senate today, alongside the sponsor of the House companion bill, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., Chairman of the House Budget Committee. 

They were joined by current HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Reps. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., and David Rouzer, R-N.C., in a press conference Monday afternoon to promote the bill. 

Senator Orrin Hatch, joined by Rep. Joe Wilson, Chairman Lamar Alexander, Chairman Tom Price, and Rep. David Rouzer

This legislation represents the kind of reform American workers and businesses need to succeed in today’s global economy,” Sen. Hatch said. “The Employee Rights Act champions workers’ rights and strengthens our economy. This is not a partisan actionnor is ita Republican or a Democrat issue. It is a matter of basic worker rights. I appreciate the 16 senators who have joined as original co-sponsors, and I invite my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect workers by supporting the Employee Rights Act.”

"From its decision to move ahead with the ambush election rule to its attempt to undermine state right-to-work laws, recent actions from the NLRB have not only been some of the most partisan we’ve seen, they’ve also been the most damaging to the rights of employees,” said Chairman Alexander. “This bill will restore workers’ rights, by, among other things, ending harmful ambush elections—which force a union election before most employees have a chance to figure out what’s going on—and ensuring employees are free to vote their conscience in secret ballot elections.”

"In Congress, our main objective should always be to focus on fostering an economic climate of growth and opportunity for all American workers and families,” said Chairman Price. “This legislation allows workers the liberty to maintain and embrace their rights as individuals in the workplace. That is something we should all be able to get behind."

Key provisions:

  • Provides paycheck protection, requiring unions to get “opt in” approval before dues can be used for purposes other than collective bargaining.  Over 40% of union members are Republican, yet nearly all of the political contributions from union dues—money deducted from employees’ paychecks—go to the Democratic party without the direct consent of union members.
  • Eliminates “card check” methods and protects personal liberty by requiring secret ballots for votes on whether to unionize or to strike.
  • Negates the recent NLRB “ambush election” rule. By overruling this action, the Employee Rights Act fosters information sharing between workers and employers that is necessary for employees to weigh the pros and cons of unionization.
  • Requires union recertification to ensure that unions still have the support from their members after significant turnover in the workforce. 
  • Prevents union coercion and criminalizes union threats while correcting some needless disparities in the National Labor Relations Act.