The Facts about Pa.’s Employee Rights Notification Act

The Employee Rights Notification Act (HB 785) is exactly what its name suggests: notifying employees of their existing rights. So what are these rights, and why must workers be told?

Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that it’s unconstitutional to force government workers to pay “fair share fees” to a union in which they don’t belong. Unfortunately, many workers remain unaware of this change—and some government and union leaders are working hard to keep it that way.

Misinformation is swirling around this important bill, so here are the facts Pennsylvania employees and public officials need to know, in order to protect workers’ constitutional rights.

Fact: HB 785 is simple, important, and necessary.

Recently, the Pa. Liquor Control Board denied notifying their employees of their Janus-protected rights. The union representing those employees, the United Food and Commercial Workers, was just caught lying to liquor store employees about their legal rights.

As teacher Greg Hartnett testified, many public employees in Pa. who do not know their rights—an issue that will only build considering teachers unions are also still negotiating fair share fees into their contracts, This bill would rectify that injustice.

Fact: HB 785 doesn’t affect trade unions.

The Janus ruling only impacts public sector employees. HB 785 requires the state and local governments to tell their employees about their legal rights under this Supreme Court decision.

Fact: HB 785 doesn’t affect public safety unions.

State and local police and fire fighters are governed under a different labor law and not impacted by HB 785.

Fact: HB 785 doesn’t change collective bargaining.

The bill does not change collective bargaining, nor comment on the merits of union membership. It simply ensures Pennsylvania laws no longer condone fair share fees, which are unconstitutional.

Fact: Union members and the public support it. 

National polling shows not only an overwhelming majority of voters agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling—but a majority of union members also agree.

Fact: Government workers deserve the facts. 

This simple and cost-effective reform instructs government employers to notify new and non-union employees they don’t have to join a union or pay union fees to keep their jobs.

All workers expect to know their employment terms and workplace choices. The Employee Rights Notification Act simply informs public sector workers of their existing legal rights.