House version of Build Back Better Act adds harsh amendments to NLRA policies for employers

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act has been relentlessly covered by the media, with most outlets praising the recent passing of the bill in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) House.

While many of the bill’s critics in the media have pointed out several ridiculous inclusions in the nearly $2 trillion social spending bill, overlooked are several new and alarming additions to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) list of employer penalties, as The National Law Review recently highlighted.

While the final version of the House version of the bill was not expected to include a new round of strict amendments to the NLRA’s rules for employers with regard to procedures that take place when unfair labor practices (ULPs) are lodged, the final bill did, in fact, retain the language.

As The National Law Review noted, ULPs are typically remedied with back pay and reinstatement to a person’s previous employment position, as well as the original terms of employment.

“The Build Back Better Act would add new ‘civil penalties’ (fines) in addition to the traditional remedies. But these fines would apply only to employer violations, not unions,” the Review noted.

ULP violations, in the House version of the Build Back Better Act, would subject employers to fines not to exceed $50,000 for each violation.

However, it gets much worse, as the language now determines if an employee caused “serious economic harm” to an employee, the civil penalties could double to $100,000, assuming the company is found to have a pattern of such practices within a five year period.

Also new is language in the bill that now subjects officers or executives of the company who “directed or committed the violation” to be personally liable, which has never been the case until now under existing laws. The bill also bans a number of lawful practices practiced by employers in the past.

While the ultimate fate of Biden’s bill depends on what happens in the Senate, it’s important that Americans — and in this case, business owners and employers — understand what passing the bill could mean. In this case, it appears that the Biden administration is attempting to revamp the NLRA to make it extremely easy for employees to file grievances — and get a nice chunk of change in the process.