Public Policy

CUPA-HR Public Policy Statement

Approved by CUPA-HR Board of Directors on July 12, 2018

This document provides a framework for CUPA-HR’s public policy advocacy efforts. This framework helps the President and CEO and the Chief Government Relations Officer manage strategic and day-to-day activities and leverage collaborations and partnerships with other associations/organizations, and it guides the work and considerations of the government relations team and the Public Policy Committee.

Principles

A. In General – Workforce policy should strive to:

  1. Facilitate employer and employee adjustments to changes in the workplace as a result of technological developments, demographics, globalization, national security needs and other factors.
  2. Protect employees from exploitation and discrimination and promote transparency and consistency in the workplace; provided that policy measures be narrowly tailored to address a specific and documented problem and designed to minimize: unnecessary compliance and administrative burdens and confusion; unintended consequences; and unnecessary interference with an employer’s ability to manage its operations.
  3. Support and encourage employer efforts to provide benefits that enhance employees’ health and wellness, retirement security, job flexibility, skills development, work-life balance, recruitment and retention.
  4. Promote education and immigration policies that ensure the U.S. higher education system remains among the best in the world.
  5. Involve stakeholders in the legislative and regulatory process by providing meaningful opportunities to review proposals prior to Congressional or Regulatory action and creating opportunities for stakeholder participation via listening sessions, hearings, mark-ups, and public notice and comment periods.
  6. Ensure that the laws, regulations and guidance are clearly and narrowly drafted.
  7. Make compliance information publicly available through the Internet and other means.
  8. Support outreach efforts and regular communications by agencies to stakeholders.

B. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
CUPA-HR is committed to diversity, inclusion, access, and equitable practices as a means to achieving excellence in higher education. Human resource decisions should not be based on factors unrelated to a person’s ability to perform their job. New workplace laws or regulations, however, necessarily create additional administrative and compliance burdens and, if not drafted carefully, can be difficult to implement, overly burdensome, and fraught with unintended consequences. As a result, CUPA-HR only supports initiatives that are narrowly tailored to prevent and remedy documented discrimination in the workplace and carefully drafted to minimize burdens, confusion and unintended consequences.

C. Workplace Flexibility
Public policy should encourage employers to consider workplace flexibility with respect to work hours, job duties, assignments, and work location and minimize any legal barriers to providing such flexibility. Such arrangements can improve work-life balance, reduce lost time due to commuting, and promote employment opportunities for all workers.

D. Student Workers
Public policy should encourage colleges and universities to provide students with opportunities to work on campus, while also recognizing that the relationship between institutions and students is primarily academic. Students’ purpose for attending a college or university is to receive an education, and the funds that students receive for on-campus work provides students with financial support for the continuation of their degree progress and an avenue for developing skills.

E. Unionized Workforce
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees employees the right to organize and collectively bargain or to refrain from doing so. CUPA-HR supports policy that preserves Section 7 rights by permitting employees to vote privately and confidentially after both unions and employers have had a fair opportunity to inform employees about the possible advantages and disadvantages of union representation, provided the policy also places limits on coercion during the election process. CUPA-HR also believes that parties to a contract are in the best position to determine the terms and conditions that will result in long-term positive outcomes for the employer and it employees. Consequently, CUPA-HR supports policy that permits parties to negotiate a contract freely. Where collective bargaining exists, CUPA-HR supports policy that encourages recognition of cohesive rather than fragmented bargaining units that do not unnecessarily exclude similarly-situated employees, and that recognize the realities of managing a workplace.

F. Contractor Relationships
Public policy should not impede colleges’ and universities’ use of outside subcontractors and vendors when doing so will increase value and improve experiences for students. To this end, federal law should consider colleges and universities “joint employers” under federal law with another organization or business only if both organizations share direct control over workers’ terms and conditions of employment.

G. Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 addresses gender discrimination and sexual harassment in educational institution programs. It provides that no person shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives federal financial assistance. HR’s involvement in Title IX compliance will vary from institution to institution but may include development and deployment of training programs, investigation of alleged violations, promulgation of policies, and Title IX compliance oversight. CUPA-HR supports policy that embraces the letter and spirit of Title IX from an ethical standpoint.