Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statement after voting against HR 842, the PRO Act, citing its elimination of right-to-work laws in states like Oklahoma and support for union leaders over American workers.
“The so-called PRO Act is only PRO-union leaders,” said Rep. Hern. “American workers are left in the dust while President Biden and Speaker Pelosi cater to union leaders. We’ve already seen the Biden Administration bow to teachers’ union demands – to the detriment of our students; Biden’s support for this legislation confirms his loyalty to union leaders and unwillingness to empower American workers. Oklahoma’s right-to-work laws are under fire with this bill, taking independence away from workers and allowing unions to force membership and dues on workers. Oklahoma values both employees and employers, the PRO Act values neither.”
Rep. Hern offered an amendment to the PRO Act that was voted down by House Democrats. Rep. Hern’s amendment would ensure that implementation of the PRO Act does not result in any job losses.
Rep. Hern speaks against HR 842 on the House floor
HR 842, the Protect the Right to Organize Act, includes provisions that:
Would coerce non-union workers to pay union dues or lose their jobs.
Undermine the sovereignty of right-to-work states, like Oklahoma and 26 others.
Hurt the gig economy on a national scale with provisions similar to California Assembly Bill 5, which makes it increasingly difficult for companies to hire private contractors. More than 59 million Americans worked as freelancers last year. This disproportionately impacts working mothers, who freelance for the flexibility and supplemental income while giving them freedom to be home with their kids.
Violate the privacy of workers by mandating employers share the personal information of workers with union leadership. Unions can do whatever they want with that data, including sell it.
Codify the 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) joint-employer standard, which changes the definition of joint-employer from immediate and direct control to indirect, reserved control. This makes joint-employers liable on both sides for labor violations and collective bargaining obligations. This is problematic for franchisees, as they will no longer be able to operate as a small business. Rather, they will be stripped of small business status and demoted to employees of the larger franchise organization.
Establish a new independent contractor test across all 50 states which presumes that everyone is an employee, and the burden of proof is on the employer. It codifies the California ABC test, where a worker is deemed an employee of a business unless it meets these criteria:
A: the individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of service,
B: the service is performed outside the employer’s usual course of business, and
C: the individual is customarily engaged in and independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.