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.

 

Employment Policy Priorities

Independent Contracting

The concept of working as an independent contractor has been around for centuries. In recent years, new technology has given millions of Americans the opportunity to earn money, work flexible hours and be their own boss through independent contracting. Military spouses, transitioning service members, stay at home parents, and people just looking to earn a few extra dollars have all benefited from this type of work—not to mention the millions of consumers who are able to purchase all manner of services right from their phone.

More traditional businesses like insurance, transportation, logistics, technology, and journalism also use the independent contractor model to one degree or another. The fact is that the “traditional” employment model, where your employer tells you where, when, and how to work just doesn’t fit every worker, or every business.

Unfortunately, some states are looking to pass new restrictions on independent contracting. Through laws like AB-5 in California, legislators are threatening to close off the opportunities offered by independent contracting, and smother new business models that benefit workers and consumers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to protecting the opportunities offered by flexible employment models. Lean more about our work on this issue below.

SaveFlexWork.com

Commonsense Immigration Reform

Commonsense immigration reform will boost economic growth, create jobs, and spur innovation and entrepreneurship. It will also reaffirm America's legacy of being an open and welcoming country where anyone who works hard and follows the rules can achieve his or her dreams.

Throughout our history, America has attracted and welcomed the most talented and the hardest working people to our shores. But today our immigration system is broken and failing to meet the needs of our society, our economy, our businesses, and our workers.

To help advance comprehensive reform that includes border security, the Chamber's Employment Policy division provides leadership to a broad coalition including businesses, labor, law enforcement, the faith-based community, and various immigrant-advocacy organizations.

Though there may be several different approaches to fixing our system, meaningful and lasting reform can only be achieved through bipartisan legislation, which is the ultimate goal of the Chamber’s immigration program.

Learn more about what the Chamber is doing on immigration.

Department of Labor

The U.S. Chamber believes the Department of Labor (DOL) must partner with both employers and employees to effectively advance the goals of the wide array of laws it administers and enforces. 

The DOL oversees such diverse areas as minimum wage, overtime, worker safety in general industry as well as mining, federal contractor compliance with affirmative action requirements, employee leave requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act, labor union financial accountability, and contractor wage payments on federally funded or supported construction and service jobs.  Employees depend on the Department to safeguard their rights, while employers look to the DOL for information and guidance on meeting their obligations.

The Employment Policy Division works with many of DOL’s component agencies including the Wage and Hour Division, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs, the Office of Labor-Management Standards, and the Office of the Solicitor. 

Learn more about what we're doing on DOL issues.

Restoring Common Sense at the NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was created in 1935 to be a neutral arbiter in the field of labor law. 

During the Obama administration, however, the agency engaged in an aggressive one-sided agenda aimed at growing labor unions at any cost. Rather than act as an impartial referee, it issued many decisions that overturned decades of well settled precedents intended to give unions an advantage in organizing campaigns. 

Restoring the appropriate balance to labor law will provide much-needed stability, and certainty for American businesses and workers. 

Fortunately, the NLRB has new members, including Chairman John Ring and a new General Counsel, who have already begun the work of revisiting Obama-era precedents. 

Learn more about what we're doing on issues related to NLRB.

Protecting Retirement Security

The Employment Policy Division is committed to protecting the retirement security of America’s workforce, and promoting policies that will continue the success of the private retirement system.

We seek to maintain a sound legal framework that encourages employers to offer retirement plans, address the demographic challenges facing the system, and encourage innovation and flexibility to help the private retirement system reach additional types of workers.

Learn more about what we're doing on retirement issues.

State Labor Issues

Advocates of increased regulation are not satisfied with just pursuing action at the federal level.  They have also taken their agenda to state and even local government.  

In the process, they are creating a patchwork of different standards that multi-state employers can find difficult to meet.  Significant state and local regulations include:

  •  - Minimum Wage
  •  - Misclassification
  •  - Wage Theft
  •  - Paid Leave
  •  - Regulating Pre-Employment Inquiries
  •  - Equal Pay
  •  - Labor Peace
  •  - Predictive Scheduling
  •  - Opportunity to Work
  •  - Overtime

 

Learn more about what we're doing on the state level.

The PRO Act

Unions and their allies are promoting a bill that would destabilize America’s workplaces and impose a long list of dangerous changes to labor law. The proposal, called the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474 and S. 1306), is a litany of almost every failed idea from the past 30 years of labor policy. The PRO Act would undermine worker rights, ensnare employers in unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force individual Americans to pay union dues regardless of their wishes. 

Recent Activity

ArticleNov 18, 2020 - 3:15pm

Together We Are Stronger

Although short in length, Section 3608 of the CARES Act is a powerful tool for employers that sponsor defined benefit pension plans. Congress recognized that in these uncertain times, employers were facing a dilemma: make pension contributions (for obligations that won’t be due in years) or make payroll and other short term costs.

ArticleNov 18, 2020 - 8:30am
https://pixabay.com/photos/michigan-state-capitol-architecture-1191024/

Court Upholds Michigan’s Annual Dues Notification Requirement

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District upholds Rule 6-7.2 of Michigan's Civil Service Rules

ArticleNov 12, 2020 - 4:30pm
California flag

California Voters Pass Proposition 22

In the days after an election, one can find countless articles analyzing the results of myriad races, and to be sure, this year is no exception. While some aspects of the 2020 election remain unresolved one item of interest in California was settled decisively.

CommentNov 09, 2020 - 5:00pm

Chamber Comments on the DOL Prevailing Wage Rule

Read our comments on the Department of Labor rule re: Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States

CommentNov 09, 2020 - 8:30am

Comments to EEOC re: Conciliation Procedures

Read our comments to EEOC on the proposed update of the Commission’s Conciliation Procedures

CommentNov 05, 2020 - 2:30pm

Comments to CO Regarding Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Proposed Regulations

Read our letter to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Regarding Proposed Regulations Implementing Part 2 of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

ArticleOct 28, 2020 - 4:45pm

UI Fraud by the Numbers

The past month has been arduous for Coronavirus related negotiations. Numerous proposals have gone back and forth between Congress and the White House, but the goal of getting a bill done has yet to succeed.

CommentOct 26, 2020 - 6:45pm

Comments to DOL re: Independent Contractor Status under the FSLA

On Monday, October 26 2020, the Chamber submitted comments to the Department of Labor regarding RIN 1235-AA34--Independent Contractor Status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. These comments outline the importance of the gig economy and offers a number of recommendations. 

ReportOct 26, 2020 - 12:30pm

A Journey of One Thousand Steps

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a report chronicling the efforts of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) three year effort to restore some much needed balance in American labor law. The report, A Journey of a Thousand Steps: The NLRB’s Effort to Restore Common Sense in Labor Law, follows a 2017 U.S.

CommentOct 26, 2020 - 10:15am

Comments to DHS on Student and Exchange Visitor Visas

Read our comments regarding an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Rule "Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media"