2009-03-13, 15:32

Employee Free Choice Act Reintroduced; Battle Lines Are Already Drawn

By: Chris Iavarone
On Tuesday, March 10, George Miller (D-CA), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Reform Committee, introduced the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409). Asserting that the bill would “give workers the ability to stand up for themselves” and heralding the effort as a key component of economic recovery, Chairman Miller insisted the EFCA would restore employee rights. Co-sponsor Tom Harkin (D-IA) explained, “just as the National Labor Relations Act, the 40-hour week and the minimum wage helped to pull us out of the Great Depression and into a period of unprecedented prosperity, so too will the Employee Free Choice Act help reinvigorate our economy.”

The bill, essentially the same as one passed by the House but killed in the Senate two years ago, faces a stiff fight. Although President Obama has pledged his support to the legislation, employer organizations have mobilized a well-coordinated campaign to highlight what they perceive as significant weaknesses in the Act, also countering with their own proposal, the Secret Ballot Protection Act. To make matters even more confusing, on March 11 Joe Sestak (D-PA) proffered yet another alternative, the National Labor Relations Moderation Act (H.R. 1355), which Congressman Sestak describes as a “middle ground” compromise to preclude a divisive confrontation. As the rhetoric on either side escalates, examination of the key features of EFCA is essential.

To read about the key features of EFCA, continue here.

(This entry was published by Charlie Edwards, a member of the firm's employment law practice group.)

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