Labor

The United States economy is supported by a highly innovative, creative, productive, and industrious workforce. The jobs that make up the U.S. economy—and the businesses that create those jobs—help workers provide for their families and lead healthy, comfortable, and fulfilling lives.

To keep the economy vibrant and to continue to create opportunity for workers, we must ensure that new businesses can be launched and current ones can be expanded. The U.S. Chamber promotes workplace policies that will enhance, not inhibit, economic growth and job creation.

 

Projects and Programs

 

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, 2021 - 10:30am

U.S. Chamber Letter on FY22 Labor and HHS Appropriations

This Hill letter was sent to the Members of the House Committee on Appropriations, on the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations legislation.

Letters to CongressJul 13, 2021 - 5:15pm

U.S. Chamber Letter on the Nomination of David Weil for the Department of Labor

This Hill letter was sent to Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding the nomination of David Weil to be the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) at the Department of Labor (DOL).

ArticleJul 12, 2021 - 1:00pm
The American flag flies outside the U.S. Capitol.

Chamber Releases Complete Scorecard for 116th Congress

Members of Congress were rewarded for enactment of USMCA and pandemic relief.

Issue BriefJul 08, 2021 - 5:45pm

USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism Flow Chart

Despite Congress passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in December 2019 and being entered into force in July of 2020, the labor chapter continues to be a convoluted piece of the trade agreement.

ArticleJul 01, 2021 - 12:30pm
U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with hazy clouds behind it.

PRO Act Poll Reveals Bill’s Unpopularity

As this blog has observed on more than a few occasions, labor leaders and their allies in Congress have developed a bill that would fundamentally rewrite American labor law to tilt the field in favor of unions, which are desperate to reverse a sixty-five year decline in members

Above the FoldJul 01, 2021 - 10:00am
Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk | Photo via Flickr / Beth Mahoney

“We’re in Survival Mode:” On the Delaware Shore, Small Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat Amid Worker Shortage

In seaside Rehoboth, it's a devastating and all-too-common narrative for tourism-dependent employers amid a national workforce crisis.

Op EdJun 30, 2021 - 1:45pm

Chamber President & CEO Suzanne Clark outlined some of the insights from her first 100 days in office for Barron's

U.S. Chamber President & CEO Suzanne Clark outlined some of the insights from her first 100 days in office for Barron's. Read her full op-ed here.

Press ReleaseJun 29, 2021 - 8:00am

Hiring Bonuses Show Real Potential to Bring Back America’s Workers

Most Appealing Incentive to Hesitant-to-Return Workers, New U.S. Chamber Poll Shows

ArticleJun 28, 2021 - 11:45am
NLRB

White House Announces Emmanuel’s Replacement at NLRB

The Biden administration on June 22 announced that David Prouty would be nominated to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to fill the seat of outgoing Member William Emmanuel, whose term ends in August.