The “Workplace Democracy Act”

On May 9, 2018, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)—all expected 2020 Presidential contenders—along  with Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced the deceptively named Workplace Democracy Act (WDA) (S. 2810 and H.R. 5728, 115th Congress).

The WDA would:

  • strip workers’ right to private voting and secret ballots in union elections;
  • codify the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial BFIjoint-employment standard that has threatened our country’s small and local businesses;
  • curb opportunities for people to work independently through gig economy platforms or more traditional independent contractor roles;
  • eliminate Right-to-Work protections for workers across the country, including in the twenty-eight states that have passed Right-to-Work laws;
  • interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses, particularly small businesses, to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters; and
  • strip away “secondary boycott” protections in the law that prevent unions using their exemptions under anti-trust laws and immunity from some state laws to target businesses for anti-competitive reasons and purposes other than organizing.

While sponsoring the WDA will likely earn Presidential hopefuls union support in 2020, the bill is a rotten deal for workers, entrepreneurs, small and local businesses and the American economy.

In enacted the Workplace Democracy Act’s damaging provisions will inflict serious harm on the American workplace. That’s why on June 20, CDW launched a multi-pronged educational campaign to push back against the legislation and sent a letter signed by 128 state and national organizations to Capitol Hill strongly urging lawmakers to oppose this misguided legislation. Additionally, CDW launched an ad campaign along with We are watching carefully to see if the bill is reintroduced in the 116th Congress.

Letter to Lawmakers

Fact Sheet

WDA two-pager

Comparison of Big Labor’s Legislative Wishlist