WDA Restricts Free Speech—The so-called “Workplace Democracy Act” restricts free speech in two primary ways: 1) The WDA makes an employer meeting with its employees unlawful; and 2) It creates unrealistic and overly-burdensome reporting requirements that the employer (and its agents) must fulfill, or risk punitive fines.
1. Outlawing Employer Meetings
The Workplace Democracy Act effectively outlaws employers holding employee meetings to discuss the issue of unionization by making them an Unfair Labor Practice. [See WDA, p. 3]
2. Red Tape
While placing no reporting restrictions upon unions or their union organizers when they target employees during union-organizing campaigns, the so-called “Workplace Democracy Act” mandates an inordinate amount of bureaucratic red tape for employers and their representatives who may provide any “information that disfavors a labor organization.”
During union organizing campaigns, unions do not like having workers fully informed about the costs and risks associated with unionization.
If unions had their way, all workers would pay union dues.
This is why unions have repeatedly tried to make it extremely difficult for employers to communicate with their employees when a union is targeting them.
In fact, at the state level, some union-backed legislatures have attempted to ban employers from speaking to their employees about unions entirely.
Since 1959, any individual or firm retained by an employer to directly communicate with the employer’s employees has had to file reports with the U.S. Department of Labor, which include payments made by the employer.
Additionally, employers are also required to report the payments made to persons or firms who communicate directly with employees.
However, not satisfied with the already-existing requirements, unions and their political allies want to make it more restrictive on employers and their representatives to communicate with employees.
Despite the fact that unions and their organizers can attack a company secretly for months (or years), with no reporting requirements to that end, the one-sided, so-called “Workplace Democracy Act” states employers must report to the Department of Labor:
Not later than 7 days after an employer disseminates to employees information that disfavors a labor organization or the rights of employees to organize and bargain collectively, the employer shall disclose such information, including the names and contact information for employees receiving the information, to the affected labor organization and to the Secretary.
In addition, there is this overly-burdensome requirement:
REPRESENTATION ELECTIONS.—For the 7-day period immediately prior to the date of a representation election, an employer required to provide a report under subparagraph (A) shall provide such report to the Secretary every 24 hours if such a payment was made during such 24-hour period. [WDA, pp. 9-10]
Moreover, the WDA mandates the “registration and certification” of individuals whom an employer may retain for assistance during a union’s organizing campaign.
The only purpose of this portion of the Act is to stifle and restrict employers’ usage of their First Amendment rights.
If enacted, along with the elimination of secret-ballot elections, the “Workplace Democracy Act” employers will face far greater hurdles in sharing information with employees—which is what unions and their political allies want.