In accordance with the Biden administration’s commitment to promoting the cause of unionization, the National Labor Relations Board signed agreements with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission regarding labor law enforcement.
The Memorandum of Undstanding (MOU) with the Justice Department specifically identified a shared interest in protecting workers “from collusive or anticompetitive employer practices and unlawful interference with employees’ right to organize.”
The agencies intend to establish procedures for consulting and coordinating at various stages of their respective antitrust and labor law investigative and enforcement activities, aiming to promote coordinated enforcement initiatives, increase efficiency and minimize duplication.
The coordination will include DOJ and the NLRB periodically consulting on specific complaints or unfair labor practice charges.
When it comes to the agreement with the FTC, both agencies said the pact is needed “To better root out practices that harm workers in the ‘gig economy’ and other labor markets, to enhance the enforcement of federal laws and regulations administered by the agencies, and to promote interagency collaboration through information sharing, cross-agency training, and coordinated outreach.”
The FTC in recent years has focused policy and enforcement resources on labor issues. Last year, the commission held a joint event with DOJ devoted to “promoting competition in labor markets.”
The FTC explained that this means addressing the labor implications of mergers, contractual restraints that may impede mobility, information sharing among employers, and the subject of collective bargaining in the gig economy.
Areas of mutual interest cited also include labor market concentration; and the imposition of one-sided and restrictive contract provisions, such as noncompete and nondisclosure provisions.