The National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a new partnership “to better protect American workers and address practices of employer surveillance, monitoring, and data collection.” The collaboration is the fourth enforcement partnership between the NLRB and an agency traditionally outside of the labor and employment space, once again reflecting the Biden Administration’s “all of government approach” to labor and employment law and policy enforcement.
Enhanced information sharing and enforcement: The partnership between the two agencies includes close collaboration on investigative and enforcement efforts related to “the intersection of acts and practices that may pose risks under federal consumer financial protection law and the National Labor Relations Act.”
Focus on employer surveillance, use of AI, and employee data privacy: “Employers’ practices and use of artificial intelligence tools can chill workers from exercising their labor rights,” said NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. Ms. Abruzzo recently released a memo advocating for the Board to crack down on such employer practices. “As our economy, industries, and workplaces continue to change, we are excited to work with CFPB to strengthen our whole-of-government approach and ensure that employers obey the law and workers are able to fully and freely exercise their rights without interference or adverse consequences.”
Whole of government approach indeed: As Ms. Abruzzo herself noted, the partnership is the latest iteration of the Biden Administration’s whole of government approach to labor and employment regulation. The NLRB already has similar enforcement partnerships with the FTC, DOJ, and the EEOC. The CFPB becomes the latest agency that does not traditionally deal with labor and employment law and policy – and perhaps the furthest removed – to be added to the alphabet soup.