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The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would produce significant economic costs for the nation’s 27 right-to-work states in an effort to increase union power at the expense of worker freedom and small businesses, according to a report issued by the American Action Forum on Aug. 13.

Three major PRO Act provisions—repealing right-to-work legislation, reclassifying independent workers as employees and broadening the joint employer standard—would have the biggest negative impact on Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. 

According to the report:

  • The PRO Act’s independent worker reclassification provision alone could cost as much as $57 billion nationwide.  
  • The joint employer changes would cost franchises up to $33.3 billion a year, lead to more than 350,000 job losses and increase lawsuits by 93%. 
  • Between 2000 and 2015, RTW states saw a 13.3% increase in the number of businesses in their states, while non-RTW states saw only 4.1% growth in businesses. 

“This report shows the crushing economic impact the PRO Act would have on states with right-to-work laws, which have given them a competitive advantage in attracting small businesses, good paying jobs and emerging industries,” said Kristen Swearingen, ABC vice president of legislative & political affairs and chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.  “Any member of Congress representing a right-to-work state should take a serious pause in supporting the PRO Act, as their vote could literally put tens of thousands of their constituents out of work and force thousands of small businesses in their states to close their doors permanently.”

ABC members can read the full statement on this report on

CDW has created a grassroots toolkit for ABC chapters and members to use to help educate policymakers about the bill. The toolkit includes a fact sheet on the bill, a video explaining the worst provisions of the legislation, a provision summary and a sample letter you can send to Congress.