The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would make illegal immigrants eligible for damages from their employer if their labor rights are violated.
The bill, passed almost entirely by Democrats, aims to expand labor protections, boost unions, and end worker misclassification. The bill also effectively abolishes state right-to-work laws.
“The penalties for violating the [National Labor Relations Act] are weaker than those for violating other labor and employment laws, and workers lack a private right of action to pursue relief on their own,” a Committee on Education and Labor fact sheet said. “Workers are frequently misclassified as independent contractors or supervisors, and thus excluded from the protections afforded to employees covered by the NLRA.”
Currently, illegal immigrants are not able to seek compensation from the NLRB if their rights are violated by their employers, which is something the bill aims to change along with attempting to allow illegal immigrants to be able to seek damages if they are wrongfully terminated.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform released a statement warning that this bill could prevent employers from firing an employee who is in the country illegally.
“In addition to owing back pay and other damages from so-called unfair labor practices, the PRO Act subjects employers to civil penalties of up to $100,000,” the statement read. “Under this bill, if an employer makes the admirable decision of firing an illegal worker to hire an American instead, they could face an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the illegal alien was fired for union status rather than being here illegally. This is not right.”
“Where workers have previously had the freedom to choose whether or not to pay fees and join a union, they will now be forced to pay membership fees or lose their job,” he said. “This will put immeasurable power in the hands of union bosses.”
Read the rest at: Illegal Immigrants