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

Letters to CongressMar 24, 2021 - 9:00am

U.S. Chamber Letter on H.R. 1065, "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act"

This Hill letter was sent to the Members of the House Committee on Education and Labor, on H.R. 1065, the "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act."

Issue BriefMar 22, 2021 - 5:45pm

The PRO Act’s Attack on Independent Contracting: Questions and Answers

Common questions and answers on the PRO Act.

ArticleMar 19, 2021 - 3:30pm
Portrait of the U.S. Capitol

The PRO Act’s Attack on Independent Contracting

As this blog has noted on numerous occasions, Congress is considering a piece of legislation that would radically re-write American labor law and undermine freelancers and other independent contractors.

Letters to CongressMar 18, 2021 - 1:30pm

U.S. Chamber Letter to the Senate on the Nomination of Marty Walsh to be Secretary of Labor

This Hill letter was sent to the Members of the United States Senate, on the nomination of Mayor Marty Walsh to be U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Letters to CongressMar 17, 2021 - 9:00am

U.S. Chamber Key Vote Letter on Immigration Legislation

This Key Vote Alert! letter was sent to the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting H.R. 6, the "American Dream and Promise Act," and H.R. 1603, the "Farm Workforce Modernization Act."

ReportMar 15, 2021 - 5:45pm

Bait and Switch: The False Promise of New “Representation” Models

Unions often blame a long-term decline in membership on labor laws that make it difficult for workers to organize and have proposed dramatic changes to those laws to improve their fortunes. For their part, employers argue that workers have little interest in unions and paying union dues.

ArticleMar 10, 2021 - 7:45pm
U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with hazy clouds behind it.

House Passes the PRO Act (Again)

The U.S. House of Representatives on March 9 passed H.R. 842, better known as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, for the second year in a row.

CommentMar 10, 2021 - 2:15pm

Comments to USCIS on Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

Chief Charles L. Nimick Business and Foreign Workers Division Office of Policy and Strategy U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

ArticleMar 10, 2021 - 2:15pm

American Rescue Plan Heads to Biden’s Desk

Today, the House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the American Rescue Plan. The bill is slightly different than what President Biden proposed and the House originally passed. However, the sweeping piece of legislation still comes with the $1.9 trillion price tag.

Press ReleaseMar 09, 2021 - 9:00pm

U.S. Chamber CEO-Elect: PRO Act Would Harm Workers, Employers, and U.S. Economy

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act, H.R. 842), which today passed the House of Representatives. The bill would force employees to pay union dues regardless of whether they support a union, threaten private ballots in union elections, and strip workers of their independent contractor classification.