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First Gov  

March 25, 1998
(House Rules)

H.R. 3246 - Fairness for Small Business and Employees Act of 1998
(Goodling (R) PA and 29 others)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3246 because it would undermine fundamental National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protections of workers' rights to organize and also limit the ability of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to carry out the provisions of the NLRA effectively. The President has stated that he would veto this bill.

Although the bill purports to promote "fairness" for small business and employees, H.R. 3246 would in fact seriously erode workers' rights and protections. In particular, the Administration strongly opposes provisions in H.R. 3246 that would allow businesses to fire or refuse to hire union organizers. Such discrimination is wrong. The rights of workers to organize in order to secure higher pay, greater benefits, and job protections must be preserved.

The Administration also opposes the bill's provisions that would greatly limit the ability of the NLRB to use the judgment and flexibility needed to carry out the provisions of the NLRA. In particular, Title IV of H.R. 3246 would broaden considerably the NLRB's current legal obligation to award attorneys' fees to small businesses and organizations that prevail in cases brought by the Board. It would require the award of attorneys' fees regardless of whether the Board's position was substantially justified or special circumstances existed. Also, the bill's rigid deadlines for resolving certain cases may limit the Board's ability to reach fair and just conclusions.