Today, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) creating a formal partnership between the two agencies to better protect American workers and 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.
The agreement, signed by the CFPB and the NLRB, supports the two agencies’ efforts to more closely collaborate on related efforts, and recognizes the intersection of acts and practices that may pose risks under federal consumer financial protection law and the National Labor Relations Act. 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.
“Employers’ practices and use of artificial intelligences tools can chill workers from exercising their labor rights,” said General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. “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.”
While the agencies have two distinct missions, the CFPB and NLRB share an interest in protecting American workers. The CFPB is responsible for ensuring that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive for American workers. The NLRB is responsible for protecting employees from unfair labor practices which 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.
“Bad actors too often try to escape oversight by dodging between regulatory gaps and supervisory authorities,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s agreement will fill in cracks that may otherwise have let practices or products harmful to workers slip through.”
Last year, 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 NLRA and take action on interagency collaborations outlined in the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment report.
Workers who think their labor rights have been violated can call 1-844-762-6572 for assistance filing an unfair labor practice charge.
Consumers can submit complaints about employer-driven debt and employer surveillance, as well as about other financial products and services, by visiting the CFPB’s website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372). Employees of companies who they believe their company has violated federal consumer financial laws, including violations related to workplace financial products and services, are encouraged to send information about what they know to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that implements and enforces Federal consumer financial law and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.