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.


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

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:

CommentMay 01, 2020 - 12:15pm

Letter to IL Governor Pritzker on Worker's Compensation

The Honorable J.B. PritzkerGovernor of the State of Illinois207 State HouseSpringfield, IL 62706 Dear Governor Pritzker:

ArticleMay 01, 2020 - 10:00am
department labor

Scalia Sets Record Straight on OSHA/DOL Actions Re: Workplace Safety and Coronavirus

One of the debates that has been flaring up recently is whether OSHA has taken the proper course in directing employers on how to protect employees from exposure to coronavirus by focusing on issuing guidance instead of a regulation.

ArticleApr 27, 2020 - 11:00am
West Virginia State Capitol Dome

Twice as Nice, Court Upholds West Virginia Right-to-Work Law for Good

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued a decision upholding the constitutionality of West Virginia’s right-to-work statute.

ArticleApr 27, 2020 - 11:00am

States Pass Additional Paid Leave Requirements

In response to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Congress passed and President Trump signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FCCRA), which expires on December 31, 2020. 

ArticleApr 23, 2020 - 4:30pm
California Sate Capitol

PUA as an Alternative to Workers’ Compensation Amid Coronavirus

Some states have started to look at workers’ compensation as a means to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus on employees.

ArticleApr 23, 2020 - 10:15am

NLRB Urged to Cease Representation Elections

A group of 20 prominent labor attorneys on April 20 submitted a letter to the NLRB formally requesting that that it suspend elections.

CommentApr 22, 2020 - 4:15pm

Letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom Re: Workers' Compensation for COVID-19 Relief

The U.S. Chamber submitted comments regarding the contemplated use of workers' compensation for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ArticleApr 17, 2020 - 2:30pm

UI Eligibility and the CARES Act

With the federal government having passed numerous Corona virus relief bills, there is naturally a fair amount of confusion about how to interpret and apply them. The expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for displaced workers under the CARES Act are no exception.