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

CommentJan 21, 2020 - 4:15pm

Comments on Proposed Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan

January 21, 2020 Dear Chairmen Grassley and Alexander,

ReportJan 16, 2020 - 2:45pm

A Policy Patchwork - Paid family leave laws in the states

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Releases New Paid Family Leave Report Highlighting the Patchwork of Laws in the States

Letters to CongressJan 13, 2020 - 3:45pm

Coalition Letter on H.R. 2694, the "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act"

This Coalition letter was sent to the House Committee on Education and Labor, on H.R. 2694, the "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act."

ArticleJan 13, 2020 - 12:30pm
Francis Perkins Building, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Labor.

DOL Releases Joint Employer Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division yesterday announced a final rule on joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

ArticleJan 09, 2020 - 5:00pm

NLRB Issues Union Dues Checkoff Ruling

The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling that restores a longstanding precedent regarding union dues checkoff agreements.

CommentJan 09, 2020 - 4:15pm

U.S. Chamber Comments on NLRB Representation Election NPRM

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pleased to submit these comments to the National Labor Relations Board, pursuant to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Request for Comments regarding Representation-Case Procedures: Election Bars and Proof of Majority Status in the Construction Industry, 84 Fed. Reg. No.

Press ReleaseJan 09, 2020 - 10:00am

Donohue: States Regulating National Policy Issues ‘Presents Challenges and Uncertainties for Business’

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue warned today in his State of American Business speech that an emerging patchwork of state regulations on national economic issues presents challenges and uncertainties for business.

ReportJan 09, 2020 - 10:00am

Ready, Fire, Aim: How State Regulators Are Threatening the Gig Economy and Millions of Workers and Consumers

Some lawmakers and regulators are pursuing policies harmful to the gig economy, workers, and consumers, but they could adderss concerns around gig workers while preserving the gig model itself. If we want to preserve what is good about the gig economy, we have to fashion regulatory solutions for the twenty-first century. We cannot continue to rely on existing employment models alone.