On February 6, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). The bill was introduced by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman and Representative Robert Scott, which passed the House with a 224-194 vote. The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 1947, and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 to provide additional protections to union employees. The bill proposes the most significant revisions to federal labor law since Congress codified the NLRA. The Bill specifically:
- modifies the definition of “employee” and “supervisor” to prevent employers from classifying employees as exempt from labor law protections,
- expands unfair labor practices to include prohibitions against replacement of or discrimination against workers who participate in strikes,
- makes it an unfair labor practice to require or coerce employees to attend employer meetings designed to discourage union membership,
- permits workers to participate in collective or class action litigation,
- allows injunctions against employers engaging in unfair labor practices involving discharge or serious economic harm to an employee,
- expands penalties for labor law violations, including interference with the National Labor Relations Board or causing serious economic harm to an employee, and
- allows any person to bring a civil action for harm caused by labor law violations or unfair labor practices.
The bill is now before the Senate where it likely faces challenges in the committee. If the bill passes by a majority in the Senate, it will then be sent to the President who has 10 days to either sign the bill into law or exercise his presidential veto power.