Workforce Freedom Initiative

The Workforce Freedom Initiative is a grassroots mobilization and advocacy campaign of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to preserve democracy in the American workplace, restrain abusive union pension fund activism, and block the anti-competitive agenda advocated by many labor unions.

National Labor Relations Board plaque

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) engaged in massive regulatory overreach during the Obama administration.  Rather than acting as an impartial referee, the Board aggressively carried out a one-sided agenda aimed at growing labor unions at any cost.  The agency is badly in need of reform.

There is a long list of policies in need of review by the new administration, a new Congress and new Board members.  Perhaps the most important include:

  • “Micro-unions”: In its Specialty Healthcare decision, the Board threw out decades of precedent regarding what is an “appropriate” bargaining unit. Abandoning the long-established preference for units representing all workers in a class or craft, the NLRB is now rubber stamping virtually any bargaining unit suggested by a union, even “micro” unions made up of just a few workers.
  • Arbitration Agreements:  In D.R. Horton and Murphy Oil, the NLRB has tried to prohibit the use of employment arbitration agreements.  These agreements speed up the resolution of workplace disputes and reduce the need for expensive class action litigation.  However, the Board claims that arbitration agreements violate Section 7 rights to engage in concerted activity.  Such an interpretation of the law is at odds with the Federal Arbitration Act and numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions. 
  • Redefining “joint employer”:  The NLRB threw out a longstanding standard for determining joint employer status and replaced it with a vague and sweeping definition that makes businesses liable for workplaces they don’t control, and workers they don’t employ.  The Board’s new standard threatens franchise operations as well as employers who have arrangements with subcontractors.​
  • Union “Ambush” Elections: This rule requires employers to turn over to union organizers personal information about their workers, such as phone numbers, e-mail accounts and home addresses.  It also strips employers of their due process rights and makes it harder to respond to a union organizing campaign.  By shortening the time period before an election, it also may prevent employees from getting fully informed about a critical workplace decision like voting for or against a union.

The new administration, Congress, and NLRB have a fresh opportunity to curb the one-sided regulatory overreach by the Obama-era Board.  This is an agency in need of reform and redirection.



Recent Activity

ArticleMar 24, 2017 - 5:00pm

Senate HELP Committee Considers Acosta Nomination

The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) this week held its hearing for Alexander Acosta...

ArticleMar 21, 2017 - 5:00pm
Judge's gavel

Federal Court Rejects Alternative Joint Employer Theory

A federal judge recently issued a decision that rejected the application of a so-called “ostensible agency” theory of joint employment.

ArticleMar 13, 2017 - 5:30pm

Labor’s Post-Election Woes

Organized labor is in a difficult position in the wake of the 2016 elections, to put it mildly.

ArticleMar 10, 2017 - 2:30pm

Piedmont Gardens

Since June 2011, Piedmont Gardens, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have been at odds about how to handle workplace investigations. More specifically, their dispute centers on whether employers must turn over to a union confidential statements made by employees during the course of the investigation.

Litigation UpdateMar 03, 2017 - 2:45pm

D.C. Circuit Unanimously Rejects NLRB “Independent Contractor” Misclassification Decision

In a unanimous decision, the D.C. Circuit held that the FedEx drivers in question are independent contractors, exempt from the NLRA. In so holding, the opinion also concluded that the NLRB receives no deference in defining who constitutes an employee, as that question is rooted in the common law, an area in which the NLRB has no special expertise.

ArticleMar 01, 2017 - 1:00pm

NLRB Still Dissecting the Employee Handbook

The first month of the Trump administration has delivered quite a few headlines. What has been less publicized, however, is the fact...

Op EdFeb 28, 2017 - 6:00am

Washington Examiner Op-ed: Restoring common sense to labor law

When it comes to policies unfavorable to employers, the last eight years were not a particularly good time for businesses, to put it mildly...

ReportFeb 28, 2017 - 12:15am
Restoring Common Sense to Labor Law

Restoring Common Sense to Labor Law: Ten Policies to Fix at the National Labor Relations Board

Under the Obama administration, the Democratic majority of the National Labor Relations Board took an overly expansive view of how the National Labor Relations Act...

Press ReleaseFeb 28, 2017 - 12:15am

U.S. Chamber Report Highlights 10 of the Worst Obama-Era NLRB Policies

A new report released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative (WFI) outlines 10 of the worst policies adopted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during the Obama administration...

ArticleFeb 13, 2017 - 12:00pm
Pro-union signs lay in the street before the start of a "Fight for $15" rally in New York.

Fight for $15 Protests Labor Nominee

The Trump administration’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, will have his confirmation hearing this week...