This cute acronym is short for “Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Trades-workers,” and it will essentially overturn the Kentucky River decision that defined who is a “supervisor” under the National Labor Relations Act.
Currently, a supervisor is defined as someone who assigns other employees to overall duties, is held accountable for directing subordinates to undertake specific tasks, and has the discretion to do so without close direction from management.
However, the RESPECT Act will change the definition of a supervisor to: “any individual having authority in the interest of the employer and for a majority of the individual’s work time to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees or responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or recommend such action if in connection with the foregoing, the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.”
Currently, even if a supervisor does not spend a majority of time actually hiring, firing, and disciplining, they are excluded from bargaining units. By deleting “assignment” and “direction,” the classification of who is a supervisor is drastically limited since very few people actually spend more than 50% of their time hiring, firing, disciplining, promoting, etc. Should the RESPECT Act pass, many supervisors will no longer be supervisors, but rather members of a bargaining unit.