Biden seeks to strengthen options for workers with new order

President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order that will reduce the ability of employers to prevent workers from going to rival firms and remove some of the state occupational licensing requirements that make it harder to land a job

The order also seeks to ban “unnecessary" occupational licensing that can hurt the earning power of military spouses, skilled immigrants and former prisoners. The requirements can limit the ability of teachers or hair stylists to move across state lines, while also making some spend money at for-profit schools to affirm skills they already have. Roughly 30% of U.S. jobs require a license, according to a 2018 FTC report.

This effort builds on work begun in 2015 by the Obama administration to get states to reduce the burdens from their licensing requirements.

The order will also toughen guidance to the FTC and the Justice Department to prevent employers from sharing wage and benefits data with each other so they can suppress worker incomes. The New York Times first reported Wednesday all the worker-focused elements of the order.

It was unclear when the order would be signed.