Passed by the House of Representatives in 2007 and defeated
by filibuster in the Senate, it seems likely that FCA will go before Congress
again in 2009, and if passed, will be signed into law by then-President
I’m not going to try and explain the Act here, or make any
suggestions as to what it might mean to you and your business other than to make
two points: (1) if your company is already unionized, the FCA does not apply,
and (2) if your company has gotten by without a union up until now, it may well
be because your employees see no added value in having one. Instead I’ll signal
the highlights and then hope you’ll take the time to revisit the act as it was
framed in 2007, stay on top of its progress as it wends its way through Congress
this next year, and let your Representative and Senators know your wishes.
Free Choice Act of 2007
the National Labor Relations Act to require the National Labor Relations Board
to certify a bargaining representative without directing an election if a
majority of the bargaining unit employees have authorized designation of the
representative (card-check) and there is no other individual or labor
organization currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative
of any of the employees in the unit.
forth special procedural requirements for reaching an initial collective
bargaining agreement following certification or
Revises enforcement requirements with respect to unfair
labor practices during union organizing drives, particularly a preliminary
investigation of an alleged unfair labor practice which may lead to proceedings
for injunctive relief.
that priority be given to a preliminary investigation of any charge that, while
employees were seeking representation by a labor organization, or during the
period after a labor organization was recognized as a representative until the
first collective bargaining contract is entered into, an employer: (1)
discharged or otherwise discriminated against an employee to encourage or
discourage membership in the labor organization; (2) threatened to discharge or
to otherwise discriminate against an employee in order to interfere with,
restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of guaranteed self-organization or
collective bargaining rights; or (3) engaged in any other related unfair labor
practice that significantly interferes with, restrains, or coerces employees in
the exercise of such guaranteed rights.
to remedies for such violations: (1) back pay plus liquidated damages; and (2)
additional civil penalties.
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