Employee Rights Act

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The Employee Rights Act (S.1774), or ERA, is a bill re-introduced to the 115th Congress in the United States Senate on September 7, 2017 by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch [R-UT] and 14 co-sponsors.[1] The bill was referred to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.[2] It is the successor to bills first introduced in the 112th Congress of the same name, also sponsored by Sen. Hatch and then-Rep. (now Senator) Tim Scott of South Carolina.[3]

An identical Employee Rights Act bill (H.R. 2723) was re-introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 25, 2017 by Rep. Phil Roe [R-TN] and six co-sponsors.[4][5] It received a hearing in the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 14, 2017.[6]

In the 114th Congress, the ERA was co-sponsored by 170 members of Congress, including 33 U.S. senators.[7] In July 2017, The Wall Street Journal editorialized in favor of the ERA, saying "the bill would protect workers and employers from union intimidation."[8]


The bill includes eight core provisions.[9][10][11] It would:

  • require secret ballot elections to determine union representation;
  • create union re-certification elections when half of the originally unionized employees have turned over;
  • mandate opt-in rather than opt-out systems for voluntary contributions to union political operations, or "paycheck protection";
  • change the "win" bar for a union certification election to include the majority of all affected employees, not just those who voted;
  • permit employees not to provide personal information to union organizers;
  • provide protections from union coercion (including fines) blocking de-certification of an existing union;
  • require secret ballot strike votes, eliminating the option to vote at union meetings following discussion;
  • criminalize union threats and violence.


  1. ^ "S.1774 - Employee Rights Act". Congress.gov.
  2. ^ Orrin, Hatch, (2015-07-28). "Committees - S.1874 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Employee Rights Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  3. ^ "Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Tim Scott Introduce Legislation to Protect Workers' Rights - Press Releases - United States Senator Orrin Hatch". www.hatch.senate.gov. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  4. ^ "Roe Statement on Introduction of the Employee Rights Act". Congressman Phil Roe Tennessees 1st District - About the District. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  5. ^ "GOP Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Calling For Major Labor Reforms". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  6. ^ ""Legislative Reforms to the National Labor Relations Act: H.R. 2776, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act; H.R. 2775, Employee Privacy Protection Act; and, H.R. 2723, Employee Rights Act." | Education & the Workforce Committee". edworkforce.house.gov. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  7. ^ "GOP Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Calling For Major Labor Reforms". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  8. ^ Board, The Editorial. "The GOP's Labor Project". WSJ. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  9. ^ Stverak, Jason (2014-02-18). "Labor board stacks the deck for unions". The Hill. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  10. ^ Sherk, James; Jolevski, Filip (2013-11-13). "Employee Rights Act: Protecting Workers from Union Overreach". Heritage.org. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  11. ^ Hoist, Christine (2013-11-27). "Republicans introduce "Employee Rights Act" targeting NLRA". Lexology. Retrieved 2014-03-04.

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