March 9, 2021
The Return of the PRO Act
This week, the House of Representatives is considering the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a sweeping revision of labor law. Most notably, this bill includes changes to the joint-employer standard, worker classification, and a repeal of right-to-work laws in 28 states. In a new analysis, AAF’s Director of Labor Market Policy Isabel Soto examines these provisions in the bill and considers their impact on workers, small businesses, and economic growth.
Her central points:
- Broadly, the PRO Act would strengthen the hand of labor unions but weaken workers’ flexibility and control over their employment options;
- The PRO Act would also have significant and wide-ranging costs, with the joint-employer provision, for example, potentially affecting 44 percent of the labor force and costing up to $33.3 billion for the franchise sector alone, and worker reclassification costing businesses up to $12.1 billion; and
- The PRO Act failed to pass the Senate in the previous Congress, and while the 2021 version is essentially unchanged and expected to pass the House of Representatives again, it may fail to get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate under current rules.