“PRO” Act: A Threat to Entrepreneurs, Small Business Workers and Gig Economy

By at 5 February, 2020, 9:08 am

VOTE NO on the Coercive, Intrusive and Backwards PRO Act, H.R. 2474

Dear Member of the U.S. House of Representatives:

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and our nationwide membership of small business supporters and entrepreneurs, strongly oppose the “Protecting the Right to Organize Act” (PRO Act), H.R. 2474.  The PRO Act is all about coercing Americans to join or subsidize labor unions through intrusive government measures. This heavy-handed legislative effort to bolster dwindling labor union membership through special (and highly intrusive) government support and action would come at the expense of small businesses, entrepreneurs and their workers, along with the flexibility, opportunity and innovative culture advanced by the gig economy.

Yes, labor union membership has vastly decreased over the past 40 years, and the antiquated model and tactics led by labor union bosses are largely to blame. In the modern economy where workers are empowered and can negotiate on their own, the high cost and low value of labor union membership are not appealing. Oftentimes the terms and costs of negotiated agreements restrict worker flexibility, and undermine the competitiveness and viability of the very firms that employ workers. But rather than find a new and innovative model that may align with modern practices and needs, labor bosses have packaged and peddled every bad idea that forces American workers to either join or subsidize labor unions – and every single one of those misguided and job-destroying ideas can be found in the PRO Act.

The PRO Act reverses and destroys many positive attributes of working, living and pursuing opportunity in the modern economy. It undermines efforts in the states to improve competitiveness, would destroy jobs and businesses, and violate the privacy of workers. The bill:

● Would effectively ban state right-to-work laws by permitting “fair share” fees, meaning all private sector workers would be forced to pay labor union fees.

● Codifies the costly and business-destroying Obama-era joint employer rule, as this regulation undercuts and harms the successful franchise business model, the ability of businesses to freely collaborate and work with each other, or to use (or for people to become) independent contractors.

● Codifies California’s new “ABC” test (AB5) to determine who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. This test makes it harder for employers to hire independent contractors, for businesses to collaboratively work with other businesses, and for people to be an independent contractor or start a business. This would kill the gig economy, which it is doing in California right now. Californian’s are rebelling against AB5, and rightly so. It is destroying livelihoods, flexibility and innovation.

● Codifies the Obama-era ambush elections rule, which shortens the time frame of union elections (to unionize workers) and would provide the personal contact information of workers to labor unions without employee consent. This is a gross violation of privacy.

The PRO Act is a backwards piece of legislation. It’s anti-jobs and anti-worker. It will undermine employee empowerment and our modern economy. Rigid and restrictive employment rules and utilizing the power of government to favor labor unions is not pro-worker. The PRO Act hurts their ability to work flexibly, independently and freely. Small businesses will be significantly burdened with new costs, reporting requirements and restrictions.

SBE Council urges you to vote NO on the PRO Act. Thank you for your consideration and for listening to the big concerns of entrepreneurs and small businesses about the PRO Act.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO



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