SB651 (2020) Detail

Prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.


SB 651-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-3014

04/10

 

SENATE BILL 651-FN

 

AN ACT prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Morse, Dist 22; Sen. Starr, Dist 1; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-3014

04/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Name of Act.  It is the intent of the general court that this act be known as “The New Hampshire Right to Work Act.”

2  New Chapter; Right to Work Act.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 273-C the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 273-D

RIGHT TO WORK ACT

273-D:1  Short Title.  This act may be cited as the “Right to Work Act.”

273-D:2  Declaration of Public Policy.  It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state in order to maximize individual freedom of choice in the pursuit of employment and to encourage an employment climate conducive to economic growth, that all persons shall have, and shall be protected in the exercise of, the right freely, and without fear of penalty or reprise, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from any such activity.

273-D:3  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  “Employer” means any individual, corporation, association, organization, or entity that employs one or more persons.  The term includes, but is not limited to, the state of New Hampshire and its agencies, every district, board, commission, instrumentality, or other unit whose governing body exercises similar governmental powers.  The term “employer” includes, but is not limited to, employers of agricultural labor.

II.  “Labor organization” means any organization of any kind, or agency or employee representation committee or plan, which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of work, or other conditions of employment.

273-D:4  Freedom of Choice Guaranteed; Discrimination Prohibited.  No person shall be required, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment:

I.  To resign or refrain from voluntary membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or voluntary financial support of a labor organization;

II.  To become or remain a member of a labor organization;

III.  To pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of any kind or amount to a labor organization;

IV.  To pay any charity or other third party, in lieu of such payments, any amount equivalent to or a pro-rata portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of a labor organization; or

V.  To be recommended, approved, referred, or cleared by or through a labor organization.

273-D:5  Voluntary Deductions Protected.  It shall be unlawful for any employer to deduct from the wages, earnings, or compensation of any employee any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges, to be held for, transferred to, or paid over to a labor organization, unless the employee has first presented, and the employer has received, a signed written authorization of such deductions, which authorization may be revoked by the employee at any time by giving written notice of such revocation 30 days in advance of its effective date.  Every employer who receives such an authorization from an employee shall have a duty to promptly notify that employee in writing that the employee may revoke an authorization at any time by giving the employer 30 days written notice.

273-D:6  Agreements in Violation, and Actions to Induce Such Agreements, Declared Illegal.  Any agreement, understanding, or practice, written or oral, implied or expressed, between any labor organization and employer which violates the rights of employees as guaranteed by the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be unlawful, null and void, and of no legal effect.  Any strike, picketing, boycott, or other action, by a labor organization for the sole purpose of inducing or attempting to induce an employer to enter into any agreement prohibited under this chapter is hereby declared to be for an illegal purpose and is a violation of the provisions of this chapter.

273-D:7  Notice to be Posted.  It shall be the duty of every employer to post and keep continuously displayed the following notice at such a place or places in the business, establishment, or premises where it may be readily seen by all employees, and it shall be the further duty of every employer to furnish a copy of such notice to each employee at the time the employee is hired:

EMPLOYEES FREEDOM OF CHOICE

Under the law of the state of New Hampshire, employees are protected in the exercise of their free choice to join or refrain from joining labor unions, and it is unlawful for an employer and a labor union to enter into a contract or agreement requiring them to pay dues, fees, or charges of any kind to a labor union as a condition of obtaining or keeping a job.  Under this law, an employer may not discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because of joining or refusing to join a labor union, or to pay dues, or other charges to a labor union.

273-D:8  Coercion and Intimidation Prohibited.  It shall be unlawful for any person, labor organization, or officer, agent, or member thereof, or employer, or officer thereof, by any threatened or actual intimidation of an employee or prospective employee, or the employee’s parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, or any other persons residing in the employee’s or prospective employee’s home, or by any damage or threatened damage to property, to compel or attempt to compel such employee to join, affiliate with, or financially support a labor organization or to refrain from doing so, or otherwise forfeit any rights as guaranteed by provisions of this chapter.  It shall also be unlawful to cause or attempt to cause an employee to be denied employment or discharged from employment because of support or nonsupport of a labor organization by inducing or attempting to induce any other person to refuse to work with such employees.

273-D:9  Penalties.  Any person, employer, labor organization, agent, or representative of an employer or labor organization, who directly or indirectly imposes upon any person any requirement prohibited by this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, notwithstanding RSA 651:2, shall be subject for each offense to a fine not exceeding $1,000, or to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both.

273-D:10  Civil Remedies.  Any person harmed as a result of any violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be entitled to injunctive relief against any and all violators or persons threatening violation, and may also recover any or all damages of any character, including costs and reasonable attorney fees, resulting from such violation or threatened violation, cognizable at common law.  Such remedies shall be independent of, and in addition to, the penalties and remedies prescribed in other provisions of this chapter.

273-D:11  Duty to Investigate.  It shall be the duty of the attorney general and of each county attorney, to investigate any complaints of violation of this chapter, and to prosecute all persons violating any of its provisions, and to use all means at their command to insure effective enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

273-D:12  Existing Contracts.  The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all contracts entered into on or after the effective date of this chapter and shall not apply to existing contracts, but shall apply to any renewal or extensions of such existing contracts.

273-D:13  Exceptions.  The provisions of this chapter shall not apply:

I.  To employers and employees covered by the federal Railway Labor Act.

II.  To federal employers and employees.

III.  To employers and employees on exclusive federal enclaves.

IV.  Where they would otherwise conflict with, or be preempted by, federal law.

273-D:14  Severability.  If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

LBAO

20-3014

12/18/19

 

SB 651-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.

 

For similar legislation, the Judicial Branch has stated there are several provisions of this bill that may result in a fiscal impact to the Branch:

  • Proposed RSA 273-D provides for a misdemeanor for directly or indirectly imposing upon a person any requirement prohibited by the act.
  • Proposed RSA 273-D:10 provides for civil remedies for violations or threatened violations of the act.  Civil remedies can be damages or injunctive relief.

 

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2021

FY 2022

Class B Misdemeanor

$54

$56

Class A Misdemeanor

$77

$79

Complex Civil Cases (Actions for Damages

 

 

Complex Equity Case (Injunctive Relief)

 

 

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$105 to $120

$105 to $120

 

The Department of Justice indicates the Department and county attorneys would be obligated to investigate and prosecute offenses under the new provision of law.  Such offenses would be classified as misdemeanors for any person, including employers or union representatives, who directly or indirectly impose prohibited requirements upon workers.  Appeals from any convictions from any such offenses would be handled by the Criminal Justice Bureau.  The Department assumes the bill would likely result in some additional investigative and prosecutorial responsibilities, the Department has no basis upon which to estimate the extent of the extra work and the resulting fiscal impact.  

The Department of Labor assumes it would be involved by ensuring any withholdings associated with the payment of union dues were defined/demonstrably voluntary.  The Department states this would not require additional staff as this type of review is within the scope of existing inspection activities.

 

The Public Employee Labor Relations Board's jurisdiction is limited to public sector collective bargaining, which covers state, county and local governments.  The Board indicates the proposed legislation does impose certain administrative burdens on employers with respect to deduction authorizations which may generate additional unknown costs,  Also,  the extent to which enforcement activity may be required cannot be determined based on information currently available, therefore the fiscal impact is indeterminable.

 

For similar legislation, the New Hampshire Municipal Association has stated the fiscal impact on municipal expenditures is indeterminable.  The Association assumes it is possible there would be a fiscal impact, but cannot predict what the effect will be.  There would be no impact on municipal revenues.

 

The Department of Administrative Services states the bill would have no fiscal impact on the Department because it does not change existing state practice.  All employees who pay amounts to a union do so through voluntary payroll deduction administered through agency payroll offices.

 

It is assumed any fiscal impact from this bill will not occur until FY 2021.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Departments of Administrative Services, Labor and Justice, Public Employee Labor Relations Board, New Hampshire Municipal Association, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Links

SB651 at GenCourtMobile
SB651 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 30, 2020 Senate Hearing
Feb. 6, 2020 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB651 Revision: 7942 Date: Jan. 14, 2020, 12:48 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 2
Jan. 30, 2020 Hearing: 01/30/2020, Room 100, SH, 01:30 pm; SC 4
Feb. 6, 2020 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate, 02/06/2020; SC 5
Feb. 6, 2020 Inexpedient to Legislate, RC 14Y-9N, MA === BILL KILLED ===; 02/06/2020; SJ 3