The Center for Independent Employees (CIE) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that provides free legal aid to employees who do not wish to participate in their workplace’s union. Top of FormBottom of Form
The Center for Independent Employees is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free-market state-level policy organizations.  While CIE is non-partisan, a member of its staff has affiliations with the Republican Party.
The Center for Independent Employees (CIE) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that provides free legal aid to employees who do not wish to participate in their workplace’s union. CIE aims to protect the rights of individual employees to protect America’s free enterprise system. 
The Center for Independent Employees was established in 2001 to provide free legal aid to independent employees, the only group in a workplace that does not have formal legal representation. CIE aims to protect independent employees’ rights that it claims are threatened by both unions and politicians, reduce the influence of unions over employees and politicians, and stop union dues from funding politicians and political causes. 
The Center for Independent Employees does not provide information on its case history, but rather gives the example of a long-term employee who opposes a union-organizing drive at his workplace. This employee does not want representation from this union for personal reasons, perhaps religious, political, or economic. Under federal labor law, the employer cannot help the employee oppose the union or provide legal council to assist the employee in opposing the union. CIE recommends that the employer should refer the employee to its free legal aid, so the worker may remain an independent employee and not be forced into union membership. 
According to claims from left-of-center media like The Intercept and Democracy Now!, the Center for Independent Employees was hired in January 2021 by Amazon to convince employees not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) at its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. 
In 2020, the Center for Independent Employees was one of many right-leaning organizations that signed a letter to the U.S. Senate and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary supporting Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Other signing organizations include the Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Liberty, and the American Conservative Union. 
Center for Independent Employees president Russell Brown was a panelist at a 2019 event held by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the American Worker that focused on opposing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a major proposed expansion of labor union power and authority. These groups, along with other panelists from groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Center for Worker Freedom, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy claim that the PRO Act would change state and national-level labor relation laws, negatively impacting worker choice and creating a “destructive economic effect.” 
The Center for Independent Employees is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. While CIE does not disclose its donors, tax filings show donations from Americans for Prosperity, which contributed in 2017. 
Jared Rodriguez is the executive director of the Center for Independent Employees. Rodriguez formerly worked as the CEO and president of the West Michigan Policy Forum, senior vice president of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, president and spokesperson of Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, and finance director of the Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee. 
Russell Brown is the president of CIE, as an adjunct fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and CEO of RWP Labor.  Brown formerly served as the chair of the Florida Center-Right Coalition.