Landmark ‘Employee Rights Act’ Would Update Nation’s Labor Policies for the 21st Century

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Wednesday threw her support behind legislation to modernize the U.S. labor policies for the 21 century and away from policies that favor big labor over the interests of employees.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Employee Rights Act of 2023 (S.1201), which was introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.).  The measure represents the Republican vision for the future of the American workforce, one that promotes growth and innovation, ensures laws protect workers rather than union bosses, and allows Americans to take home more of the money they earn.

“Old style union organization of the last century must give way to an evolving workforce and economy.  The Employee Rights Act embraces that fact in a manner that protects workers and small businesses,” Hyde-Smith said.  “It is a much-needed jump away from the heavy-handed, big labor rules being forced on workers and businesses by the Biden administration.”

“While the Biden administration and Washington Democrats continue to bend to the demands of big labor unions and special interest groups, Republicans remain focused on finding forward-thinking solutions that give our workforce and small business owners stability and flexibility,” said Scott.  “We should always resolve to empower and encourage Americans with the ability to provide for their families.  I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining me in the fight to protect workers.”

S.1201 was offered in response to the radical PRO Act authored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).  The Republican countermeasure, among other things, would:

  • Protect contractors, franchisees, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking flexible work options.
  • Allow companies to extend benefits to independent contractors without forcing them to sacrifice flexibility.
  • Empower and protect workers seeking to decertify a union that has lost majority, and require unions to get explicit permission from members before spending their dues for political purposes.

Additional cosponsors include Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), and U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Ind.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).

U.S. Representative Rick Allen (R-Ga.) introduced companion legislation (HR.2700) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thirty-five groups have already endorsed the measure, among them the Associated Builders and Contractors, Americans for Tax Return, Club for Growth, Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Restaurant Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.