Backgrounder

Worker’s Choice Act

Tags:

Forced unionization, Republican bill, right-to-work

Bill name: Worker’s Choice Act
Bill sponsor: H.R. 5147, Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD)

Bill Summary: The Worker’s Choice Act would allow employees the option to opt out of union representation and negotiate employment terms individually with their employer. The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and eliminates the requirement for employees to pay dues or fees to a labor union as a condition of employment.

In effect, the Worker’s Choice Act would solve the following:

  • the “forced rider” issue – when an employee is forced to work under terms negotiated by a union, even though the worker may not be a member of the union
  • the “free rider” claim – where a union is required by exclusive representation to negotiate on behalf of a worker that has opted out of a union via a state’s Right to Work law

 

Bill Status:  Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Greg Murphy (R-NC), and Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the Worker’s Choice Act on November 18, 2019. It has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor, though no legislative action has occurred.

 

Click here to read the bill language. 

Click here to download the backgrounder. 

Also related, Protecting the Right to Organize Act. 

Also related, Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Resources

H.R.5147 – Worker’s Choice Act of 2019
Introduced on 11/18/19
Congress.gov
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5147

Press Release: Johnson, Murphy, and Roe Introduce Worker’s Choice Act
November 18, 2019
DustyJohnson.house.gov
https://dustyjohnson.house.gov/media/press-releases/johnson-murphy-and-roe-introduce-worker-s-choice-act

Study: Worker’s Choice: Freeing Unions and Workers from Forced Representation
June 2, 2015
F. Vincent Vernuccio, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Mackinac.org
https://www.mackinac.org/S2015-03

Op-ed: PRO Act would rob workers of the private ballot
December 4, 2019, Inside Sources
David Williams, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
https://www.insidesources.com/pro-act-would-rob-workers-of-the-private-ballot/

Study: Freeing Unions and Workers from Forced Representation
June 1, 2016
F. Vincent Vernuccio, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
https://policy.pasenategop.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/61/2018/10/Vernuccio-Attachment2.pdf

Op-ed: Unions hate right-to-work. Let’s give workers a choice.
August 15, 2016, The Hill
F. Vincent Vernuccio, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/labor/291408-unions-hate-right-to-work-lets-give-the-worker-a-choice

Blog: How this bill could free workers from forced union representation
November 20, 2019
Rachel Greszler, Heritage.org
https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/commentary/how-bill-could-free-workers-forced-union-representation

Download PDF