March 13, 2023

U.S. Agencies Announce New Partnership To Address Employer Surveillance

On March 7, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) creating a formal partnership between the two agencies to address practices of employer surveillance, monitoring, data collection, and employer-driven debt, which can include a worker going into debt with their employer for the purchase of equipment, supplies, or required training.

press release announcing the MOU said the agencies will now be able 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 agreement also will enable employees of companies who they believe their employer has violated federal consumer financial laws, including violations related to workplace financial products and services, to write directly to the CFPB. (For readers who are unfamiliar with the agency, the CFPB is responsible for ensuring that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. The NLRB is responsible for protecting employees from unfair labor practices that interfere with the rights of employees to join together to improve their wages and working conditions, to organize a union and bargain collectively, and to engage in other protected concerted activity.)

The announcement follows a memo issued in 2022 by the NLRB that committed all NLRB field offices to working closely with other federal agencies to fully effectuate the mission of the NLRA.

Read more about the agreement here.

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