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

Above the FoldMay 21, 2020 - 9:00am
small business loans

Unemployment Claims Amid Coronavirus: A State-by-State Analysis

Millions of American workers have filed unemployment claims in recent weeks. This map shows how quickly claims have increased in each state.

ArticleMay 20, 2020 - 11:00am
Virginia State Capitol

Virginia Passes Misclassification Statutes

Legislators in the Commonwealth of Virginia recently managed to pass several misclassification bills while others’ focus lay elsewhere.

ArticleMay 19, 2020 - 12:30pm

UI and Returning to Work: What You Need to Know

Over the past week, dozens of states have begun to reopen, allowing businesses to partially resume operations. Restaurants, retailers, gyms, and other service-oriented industries are calling on employees to return.

CommentMay 15, 2020 - 3:30pm

Coalition Letter to the White House on H-2B Visas

May 15, 2020 The Honorable Donald J. Trump President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear President Trump:

Letters to CongressMay 13, 2020 - 2:30pm

Coalition Letter Regarding Single Employer Funding Relief

May 13, 2020 TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

ArticleMay 08, 2020 - 5:45pm

California Expands Workers’ Compensation through New Executive Order

Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order (EO) N-62-20. The Order significantly expands current workers’ compensation policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Press ReleaseMay 06, 2020 - 2:30pm

U.S. Chamber Responds to California's Gig Economy Lawsuit Against Lyft, Uber

As America looks to get back to work, California’s officials serve up an injunction instead of incentives. The litigation filed by the Attorney General and City Attorneys is nothing short of an effort to drive successful businesses out of the state and deny opportunities to millions of workers.

CommentMay 01, 2020 - 2:30pm

Letter to OMB Supporting DOL's Proposed Rule Regarding Default Electronic Disclosure by Employee Pension Benefit Plans

The Honorable Russ VoughtActing DirectorThe Office of Management and Budget725 17 th Street, NWWashington, DC 20503 Re: Support for the DOL’s Final Rule Regarding Default Electronic Disclosureby Employee Pension Benefit Plans Under ERI SA, RIN1210 -AB90 Dear Acting Director Vought: