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

Letters to CongressJul 14, 2020 - 12:30pm

U.S. Chamber Letter on FY21 Homeland Security Appropriations

This Hill letter was sent to the House Committee on Appropriations, on FY21 Homeland Security Appropriations.

Letters to CongressJul 12, 2020 - 1:00pm

U.S. Chamber Letter on FY21 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations

This Hill letter was sent to the House Committee on Appropriations, on Fiscal Year 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations.

ArticleJul 08, 2020 - 10:00am

Court Upholds Most of the NLRB Election Procedures Rule

The federal D.C. District Court issued an order upholding most of the NLRB's election procedures rule.

ArticleJul 03, 2020 - 5:15pm
NLRB

The NLRB’s Discipline Defense

For the last couple of years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been chipping away at the dubious legacy of the Obama-era Board—a legacy that

Above the FoldJul 02, 2020 - 9:00am
small business loans

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

Explore the interactive map to see just how quickly unemployment claims have risen in each state since the beginning of March.

ArticleJun 25, 2020 - 12:45pm
California Sate Capitol

Misclassification Mayhem Dashes On

The state of California demonstrates its reluctance to foster a good business environment on a regular basis and with seeming alacrity, and one bugaboo du jour among the Golden State’s policymakers is the area of alleged 

Press ReleaseJun 24, 2020 - 11:30am

U.S. Chamber Releases 'America’s Opportunity Gaps: By the Numbers' Examining Underlying Factors of Inequality for Black Americans, Americans of Color

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today published America’s Opportunity Gaps: By The Numbers, a compilation of research that documents the inequality of opportunity for Black Americans and people of color. Released the day before the Chamber’s National Summit on Equality of Opportunity, the report quantifies racial divides in six critical areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, criminal justice, health, and wealth development.

CommentJun 19, 2020 - 10:15am

Coalition Letter to the American National Standards Institute

Mr. Joe BhatiaPresident and CEOAmerican National Standards Institute1899 L Street, NW, 11 th Fl.Washington, DC 20036 Dear Mr. Bhatia,

In the NewsJun 17, 2020 - 11:15am

The Real Impact of AB 5

In 2019, the California legislature passed A.B. 5, a bill that dramatically curtails the use of independent contractors in the state.  A.B. 5 establishes a three-factor “ABC” test to determine whether someone is an employee, or an independent contractor.  Predictably, the law has upended many successful business models and cost some workers their jobs.