Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
Employee Privacy Protection Act

BACKGROUND: During the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) implemented new policies that jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families. Buried in the NLRB’s ambush election rule — regulations designed to speed up union elections — are requirements that force employers to disclose employees’ personal information to union organizers. This new regulatory scheme provides labor bosses access to employees’ names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, work locations, and work schedules. Even before this radical scheme was implemented, union bosses had a long history of invading the privacy of workers:

  • In 2006, a stranger came to [Jennifer Parrish’s] home asking for her to sign a union authorization card. She repeatedly declined to sign at which point the gentleman grew angry. His demands became louder and more insistent. To get him to leave, she agreed to sign. Washington Times
          
  • Patricia Pelletier … circulated a petition to decertify her union. She and her coworkers ultimately voted to decertify the union. Union operatives responded by allegedly forging Pelletier’s signature on numerous magazine subscriptions and consumer product solicitations … Not only was Pelletier forced to spend several hours each day canceling individual subscriptions, she was also billed for thousands of dollars by unwitting magazine companies, jeopardizing her credit rating.National Right to Work

Because of the ambush election rule, it’s become even easier for Big Labor to engage in intimidation tactics. Employees provide personal information to employers expecting this sensitive information will be protected. Most employees would be shocked to learn the federal government was forcing employers to hand over their personal information to union bosses. The privacy of working families should be strengthened by policymakers, not weakened by an unelected labor board.

H.R. 2775: To safeguard the privacy of America’s workers, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced the Employee Privacy Protection Act. The legislation will give workers greater control over the disclosure of their personal information and help modernize an outdated union election process.

  • Empowers workers to control the disclosure of their personal information. Employers would have seven days to provide a list of employee names and one additional piece of contact information chosen by each individual employee.
        
  • Modernizes the union election process. In the age of email and smart phones, relying on home addresses is both outdated and dangerous. The bill allows employees to choose their preferred and safest way to communicate with union organizers.
        
  • Rolls back NLRB policies that jeopardize the privacy of working families. When enacted, the legislation would overturn the board’s radical invasion of employee privacy.

For a PDF of this fact sheet, click here.