Federal Agencies Partner to Combat “Anticompetitive and Unfair Labor Practices.”
In furtherance of the strong pro-worker stance of the Biden administration, various federal agencies have entered into agreements that allow them to share information and partner on initiatives that promote workers’ rights. We had previously written about the commitment of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board to better interagency cooperation, as well as the agreement between the NLRB and the Department of Labor. This month brings two more agreements.
The NLRB has entered into Memoranda of Understanding with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to facilitate (1) information-sharing and cross-agency consultations for law-enforcement purposes, (2) cross-agency training to provide education about the laws and regulations each enforces, and (3) coordinated outreach and education of the public. The MOU with the DOJ identifies areas of shared interest in protecting workers who have been harmed or may be at risk of being harmed as a result of interference with the rights of workers to obtain fair market compensation and to freely exercise their legal rights under the labor laws. The MOU with the FTC asserts that the agencies share interests in “gig economy” concerns such as misclassification of workers and algorithmic decision-making, one-sided non-compete and nondisclosure provisions, and the ability of workers to act collectively.
As we previously noted, these agreements mean that employers should be prepared for more aggressive enforcement by the NLRB, as well as the involvement of other agencies in matters that traditionally were handled by a single agency.