Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Sen. Scott (R-SC) to Introduce Employee Rights Act, Modernizing Out-Dated Labor Law

Tomorrow, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) will introduce the Employee Rights Act (ERA) of 2022, a bill that will significantly update our out-dated labor laws for the first time in decades.

The ERA protects workers’ rights while also reflecting major changes to our economy in recent generations. According to polling from the Center for Union Facts, the legislation’s key provisions are overwhelmingly popular with employees as well as the American public more broadly.

You can see polling on the bill’s key provisions here. You can see a full list of the nearly 50 organizations that endorse the ERA here.

While many of the bill’s original provisions from when it was first introduced in 2011 remain intact, the bill also includes key updates meant to address modern-day concerns such as new protections for gig workers, franchise small businesses, and more.

The ERA’s key provisions:

  • Secret Ballot Elections: Ensure that any vote to organize a workplace or hold a strike is done via private ballot.
  • Criminalized Union Threats: Federally prohibit and criminalize coercion or threats by union officials while establishing privacy protections for employees to limit calls and other election activities outside the workplace.
  • Political Protection: Require employees to consent to their union dues being used for anything other than collective bargaining efforts.
  • Gig Worker Benefits: Allows employers to extend benefits to independent contractors without the workers having to abandon their flexibility.
  • Protection for Local Businesses: Includes the Save Local Business Act, which clarifies the joint employer standard, allowing more franchisees to own their own businesses, giving more Americans the opportunity to realize their dream of starting their own business.
  • NLRA Reform: Includes the Truth in Employment Act, which protects small businesses and employees from the coercive union tactic known as “salting.” Also codifies a 2020 rule requiring unions to adhere to enhanced reporting under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 on T-1 trusts, offering employees further transparency into their union’s operations.

For a full overview of the ERA, visit

If unions don’t want to become obsolete in a modern economy that prioritizes flexibility and individual choice, they should try actually earning workers’ trust — not just legislating themselves back into power. The ERA would let workers decide if unions and their self-serving agendas really have a place in today’s workforce.

Categories: Employee Rights ActWorkplace Election Integrity