Employment Policy

The Employment Policy division regularly interacts with Congressional staff, numerous Federal agencies and many national coalitions (some of which are chaired by the Chamber) to help define and shape national labor, immigration and employee benefit policy.

 

RESTORING COMMON SENSE TO THE NLRB

 
NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) engaged in massive regulatory overreach during the Obama administration.  Rather than acting as an impartial referee, the Board aggressively carried out a one-sided agenda aimed at growing labor unions at any cost.  

Fortunately, the NLRB has new members and a new General Counsel, who have already begun restoring the appropriate balance to labor law.  For example, the new NLRB:

  • Overturned the Specialty Healthcare decision that allowed unions to form “micro-units” that made no sense and upended collective bargaining.
  • Revised the Lutheran Heritage standard for reviewing employee handbook policies, which had allowed the Obama-era Board to penalize employers all over the country for maintaining common-sense policies like requiring courtesy in the workplace.
  • Issued a new General Counsel memo requiring many controversial Obama-era regulatory policies to get special review.

However, there is still more work to be done to ensure that labor law works for both employees and employers. This includes:

  • Agency Staffing: Former NLRB Chairman Phil Miscimarra’s term expired in December 2017, and the administration named Marvin Kaplan as Board Chairman.  However, this leaves the Board with a 2-2 split along party lines.  Until the U.S. Senate confirms a replacement for the fifth seat on the Board, the agency will be deadlocked on many issues.
  • Arbitration Agreements:  In D.R. Horton and Murphy Oil, the Obama-era NLRB tried to prohibit the use of employment arbitration agreements.  These agreements speed up the resolution of workplace disputes and reduce the need for expensive class action litigation.  However, the Board claimed that arbitration agreements violate Section 7 rights to engage in concerted activity.  The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in these cases in the near future.  Nonetheless, the Board should expressly reverse D.R. Horton and Murphy Oil.
  • Joint Employer Standard: The NLRB should overturn the Obama-era Browning-Ferris decision which massively, and improperly, expanded the number of businesses that could be deemed "joint employers." 
  • Union “Ambush” Elections:  In December 2017, the newly-constituted NLRB asked the public if it should keep, modify, or get rid of its “ambush” elections rule. This rule requires employers to turn over to union organizers personal information about their workers, such as phone numbers, e-mail accounts and home addresses.  It also strips employers of their due process rights and makes it harder to respond to a union organizing campaign.  By shortening the time period before an election, it also may prevent employees from getting fully informed about a critical workplace decision like voting for or against a union.  Rulemaking should ensure that the elections process works fairly.
  • Congressional Activity:  The positive changes listed above will last only so long as a balanced Board majority lasts.  That’s why Congress needs to pass legislation like the Save Local Business Act that would enshrine in law a sensible joint employer standard.  Congress should also pass the Workplace Democracy and Fairness Act, to lock in place fair union election procedures.

The NLRB has finally started to turn the corner.  Now the administration and Congress need to ensure that this progress continues.

Recent Activity

CommentApr 18, 2018 - 1:00pm

U.S. Chamber Comments on the National Labor Relations Board's "Ambush" Elections Rule

Today, the Chamber submitted comments to the NLRB calling on the Board to begin a rulemaking that would undo the disastrous “ambush” election rule issued in 2014.

Issue BriefApr 16, 2018 - 9:00am

View Union Financial Disclosure Forms

View Union Financial Disclosure (LM-2) Forms Filed With the U.S. Department of Labor

ArticleApr 11, 2018 - 5:15pm
Piggy bank on a green background.

Don’t Forget this Retirement Asset… Your Employer-Provided Retirement Plan

For most employees, one of their largest retirement assets is an employer-provided retirement plan...

EventApr 10, 2018 - 8:30am to 4:00pm

Innovations in Workplace and Community Wellness: A Road Map to Program Success

This year's annual wellness forum will emphasize strategies to influence behavior change, the link between health and performance, community initiatives addressing health disparities, and technological advances in health care.

ArticleApr 04, 2018 - 3:00pm
Pro-union signs lay in the street before the start of a "Fight for $15" rally in New York.

SEIU Slashes Fight for $15 Funding

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) recently submitted its annual financial report for 2017...

ArticleMar 26, 2018 - 3:45pm
McDonald's flags waving above a store.

SEIU Resists McDonald’s Settlement

A significant case at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) involving the McDonald’s Corporation has taken a new turn that could lead...

ArticleMar 22, 2018 - 4:00pm

A Victory for Plan Sponsors

For almost a decade the Chamber has been warning the Department of Labor (DOL) of the dire consequences that would result from its rule...

ArticleMar 15, 2018 - 4:00pm
Wet floor sign reads: "Caution: Vague joint employer standard"

Hy-Brand Appeals NLRB Reversal

A company involved in a controversial case at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—Hy-Brand—filed a Motion to Reconsider...

ArticleMar 15, 2018 - 4:00pm
United States Senate

Senate Committee Approves NLRB Nominee

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on March 14 voted to advance...

ArticleMar 14, 2018 - 3:00pm

Joint Employer Ping Pong

When it comes to public policy, one of the things the business community appreciates is stability, but the National Labor Relations Board...