In 2015, local business and industry leaders joined forces to launch a comprehensive lobbying, public affairs, media relations and grassroots campaign to protect the joint employer standard. Members of the Coalition to Save Local Businesses participated in hundreds of meetings with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and back at home, hosted tours of their facilities, testified before Congress, sent letters, made phone calls, wrote op-eds and letters to the editor – they educated, engaged and worked tirelessly to stand up for and support all local businesses.
Despite the very best efforts of the Coalition’s exceptional troops and many members of Congress advocating on its behalf, Senate and House leadership were not able to include the joint employer provision in the year-end, omnibus government funding bill. Unfortunately, local businesses were faced with the same reality that plagued so many legislative priorities throughout this funding process: liberal congressional Democrats who opposed any policy riders in the omnibus bill, some conservative Republicans who opposed the omnibus bill due to the higher spending limits negotiated by Speaker Ryan’s predecessor John Boehner, and a White House that opposed the joint employer rider.
Congress’s inability to protect local businesses at this critical time does not, however, negate the substantial progress made on this issue due to the tremendous work of Coalition members and partners. While we are disappointed that a joint employer fix was not a sufficiently high priority for enough members of Congress this year, we go into 2016 with strong allies in Congress, a congressional authorizing bill that has over 160 bipartisan cosponsors, and continued determination to protect the best interests of local businesses throughout our country.