Rep. Rick Allen Introduces the Truth in Employment Act

U.S. Congressman Rick W. Allen (GA-12), a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, yesterday introduced H.R. 5178, the Truth in Employment Act. This legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to protect small businesses and their employees from the coercive tactic used by big unions known as “salting,” which makes small businesses targets of harassment campaigns designed to increase forced unionization.

“In the past, we have seen union bosses exploit small businesses that need to hire more workers and ultimately force them into unionization by sending in a job applicant who is solely there to gather information and start organizing efforts,” said Rep. Allen. “This deceptive salting practice often leads to costly legal battles if the business does not unionize. The Truth in Employment Act would protect both employers and employees by clarifying language in the National Labor Relations Act so that no employer is forced into hiring a ‘salt,’ and can instead use precious time and resources to hire employees who are there to actually work, especially important in this already difficult hiring environment.”

Greg Mourad, Vice President of the National Right to Work Committee, said:

“With many workers choosing to reject Big Labor’s ‘representation’ in secret ballot votes, union bosses are increasingly relying on coercion instead, such as ‘salting’ schemes designed to harass non-union employers into turning workers over to union boss control without a vote – or drive them out of business altogether through bad-faith litigation. Big Labor’s cynical ‘salting’ tactics are currently being used all over the country to strong-arm workers into accepting union ‘representation’ against their will. The National Right to Work Committee is proud to stand with Congressman Allen in calling for passage of the Truth in Employment Act, which would put an end to this destructive practice once and for all.”

Associated Builders and Contractors said:

“Salting is not merely an organizing tool—it has become an instrument of economic destruction aimed at nonunion companies. ABC supports legislation like the Truth in Employment Act that would amend the National Labor Relations Act to make it clear that an employer is not required to hire any person who seeks a job primarily to organize employees or put nonunion companies out of business or do both. This change would not infringe on any rights or protections otherwise afforded to employees under the NLRA. It would alleviate the legal pressures imposed on employers to hire individuals whose overriding purpose for seeking a job is to disrupt the workplace or otherwise inflict economic harm.”

Full bill text is available here.

Salting applicants often openly identify as union organizers during the job hiring process, but at this stage, it is still too late. Employers are caught in a multi-step process:

  1. If the employer hires the union job applicant, it gives the union the opportunity to begin a union election process or call for union recognition, even without a vote; OR
  2. If the employer does not hire the union job applicant, or when an employer attempts to fire a union applicant who turns out to be a disruptive employee with the goal of unionizing from the inside, the union activist can file a claim citing an "unfair labor practice" charge on the employer.
  3. Once a claim is filed, employers can either enter into a NLRB investigation or settle and allow unionization of a worksite.

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