The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

President Biden Issues Executive Order to Create Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment

On April 26, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment (EO), which creates the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment (Task Force). Citing the decline in union density, the EO and newly created Task Force aim to “encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining and to promote equality of bargaining power between employers and employees.”

The EO directs the Task Force to “identify executive branch policies, practices, and programs that could be used, consistent with applicable law, to promote [the] Administration’s policy of support for worker power, worker organizing and collective bargaining” and recommend “statutory, regulatory or other changes that may be necessary to make policies, practices and programs more effective means of supporting worker organizing and collective bargaining.” To carry out these tasks, the EO specifically calls on the Task Force to consult agencies, boards and commissions with jurisdiction over worker organizing and collective bargaining, including the National Labor Relations Board, Federal Labor Relations Authority and National Mediation Board. The EO also calls on the Task Force to work with labor organizations, worker advocates, academics and other experts to gather information that will assist the Task Force in its mission.

The Task Force will be chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris and vice chaired by Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, who will bring together nearly every federal agency and cabinet head in an all-of-government push to provide the president with recommendations, by the end of October, aimed at achieving the goals of the EO across the entire regulatory landscape.

Looking forward, the Task Force will likely recommend implementing many labor policy priorities that Democrats and unions have pushed for in recent years. This may include provisions included under the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, such as the ABC test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or traditional employee and an expanded joint employer standard.

CUPA-HR will keep members apprised of any major policies or regulations that come about as a result of the recommendations made by this EO and the Task Force.

 

The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 20.