Support Fair Union Elections for Small Business

February 22, 2021

Problem:

President Biden has pledged to support many policy initiatives endorsed by organized labor. Yet many of these initiatives threaten to negatively impact small businesses, the self-employed, and the economy. The 180-degree turn in regulatory employment policy priorities that will likely result will undoubtedly create uncertainty for employers, which are already dealing with a pandemic and an unstable economy. Over the course of the next couple of years, we can expect to see the reinstatement of the Obama-era labor policies at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) even though many of these policies were previously rejected on a bipartisan basis, widely criticized by the regulated community as unworkable, and rejected by federal courts. Members of Congress and administration officials must be mindful to focus on maintaining U.S. economic growth, and prevent organized labor from expanding their reach, and the rules they have championed, primarily through the NLRB.

  • PRO Act: As part of his labor goals, Biden has championed the PRO Act, a substantive rewrite of the 85-year-old National Labor Relations Act that was passed by the House in early 2020. The PRO Act would codify the ambush election rule and micro-unit policy, neuter employers’ ability to mount counter-campaigns to union organizing attempts and weaken right-to-work laws that protect employee free choice. This legislation also would permit the NLRB to issue monetary penalties on employers for violating the NLRA and would more strictly require bargaining after an initial certification of a new union.
  • Employee Free Choice Act or “Card check”: As a co-sponsor of the original Employee Free Choice Act, Biden supports workers choosing to form a union if a majority signs authorization cards empowering a union to represent them. He plans to go beyond the PRO Act by allowing workers to use this process “card check” as an initial option for forming a union.

Solution:

NSBA supports fair labor, economic growth and job creation, and will continue to oppose unfair and burdensome efforts to bolster organized labor’s stronghold through a number of concerted efforts. These kinds of rules and legislative proposals are non-starters for America’s small businesses and should be rejected by lawmakers.

  • Oppose the PRO Act and other similar tactics that will severely hamstring small employers’ ability to fairly push back against a unionizing campaign.
  • Reject any effort to pass the Employee Free Choice Act or other card check legislation.