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.


America Works Initiative

Through the America Works Initiative, we’re helping your company and our country solve our workforce challenges.

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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.


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

TestimonyAug 27, 2021 - 11:15am

Testimony to DOL's ERISA Advisory Council on Gaps in Retirement Savings

On August 27, the Chamber's Vice President of Retirement Policy, Chantel Sheaks, testified to the 2021 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans on Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender.

ArticleAug 26, 2021 - 10:15am
Amazon site

The NLRB’s Amazon Antics

Back in June, this blog discussed a seemingly innocuous remark by the then-acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Peter Sung Ohr, as he discussed the representation election at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alab

ArticleAug 23, 2021 - 3:00pm

Workers in Silao Cast Historic Votes

The first USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism case is coming to a close following a historic vote that took place over the course of two days.

CommentAug 23, 2021 - 12:30pm

Comments to DOL on Tip Regulations Under the FLSA

Read the comments to Jessica Looman, Principal Deputy Administrator of the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with respect to Tip Regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act

CommentAug 20, 2021 - 11:45am

Coalition for Workplace Safety Comments to OSHA on Emergency Temporary Standard IFR

Read the Coalition for Workplace Safety's comments to James Frederick, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, regarding DOL's Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19.

CommentAug 20, 2021 - 11:30am

Comments to OSHA on Emergency Temporary Standard IFR

Read the Chamber's comments to James Frederick, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, regarding DOL's Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19.    

Aug 19, 2021 - 2:45pm

Vaccine Mandates, Meet UI

The Delta variant is on the rise, employers are announcing back-to-office plans, and enhanced unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are coming to an end. These three roads are intersecting, prompting many questions around vaccine mandates and what they might mean for hesitant employees.

ArticleAug 19, 2021 - 10:00am

The NLRB's New Sheriff

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a new sheriff, so to speak, in the person of Jennifer Abruzzo, who was confirmed as the agency’s General Counsel in July, and while her confirmation is only a few weeks old, she is making it clear she that she has her own agenda.   

ReportAug 18, 2021 - 11:00am

The Business Case for Criminal Justice Reform: Second Chance Hiring

This report explores the benefits to employers that hire formerly incarcerated individuals, identifies barriers to entry for those with criminal convictions, highlights programs and organizations working to break down these barriers, and discusses developments concerning state and federal legislation that supports second and fair chance hiring.

ArticleAug 16, 2021 - 8:45am

Second USMCA Labor Complaint Reaches Remediation Agreement

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on August 10, 2021, that the U.S.