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Thursday, July 21, 2022

FTC and NLRB Partnership

Labor market competition and talent mobility have long been a neglected stepchild of antitrust policy. But things have been changing fast in recent years. Delighted about this press release today:

Today, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina M. Khan executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) forming a partnership between the agencies that will promote fair competition and advance workers’ rights.

The agreement enables the NLRB and FTC to closely collaborate by sharing information, conducting cross-training for staff at each agency, and partnering on investigative efforts within each agency’s authority.

The MOU identifies areas of mutual interest for the two agencies, including: labor market developments relating to the “gig economy” such as misclassification of workers and algorithmic decision-making; the imposition of one-sided and restrictive contract provisions, such as noncompete and nondisclosure provisions; the extent and impact of labor market concentration; and the ability of workers to act collectively.

“Workers in this country have the right under federal law to act collectively to improve their working conditions. When businesses interfere with those rights, either through unfair labor practices, or anti-competitive conduct, it hurts our entire nation,” said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo. “This MOU is critical to advancing a whole of government approach to combating unlawful conduct that harms workers.” 

“I’m committed to using all the tools at our disposal to ensure that workers are protected from unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive practices,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “This agreement will help deepen our partnership with NLRB and advance our shared mission to ensure that unlawful business practices aren’t depriving workers of the pay, benefits, conditions, and dignity that they deserve.”

The NLRB also recently joined the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) . CSN is an investigative online tool and complaint database for law enforcement agencies. It contains millions of consumer complaints about scams, identity theft, Do Not Call Registry violations, and more.

In February, General Counsel Abruzzo issued a memorandum to all field offices, committing to working closely with other federal agencies to fully effectuate the mission of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and take action on interagency collaborations outlined in the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment report.


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