IFA and U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Congress Should Protect Local Business Owners by Supporting H.R. 3441

IFA and the Chamber have a simple, clear message to Congress: government shouldn’t make it harder to start a small business.

On Friday, November 3, the International Franchise Association (IFA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched an ad campaign urging Congress to pass H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act. The campaign is highlighted by a TV ad, airing in the Washington, D.C., metro area, supplemented by digital ads running nationwide.

Featured in the ad is IFA member, Danny Farrar, a U.S Army veteran and the founder of SOLDIERFIT, a unique fitness franchise with locations in Maryland and Virginia. Farrar is one of 28 small business owners who have testified before Congressional committees on the disastrous impacts of the joint employer scheme over the last two years.

In August 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) threw out three decades of legal standards for determining joint employer status and replaced it with a vague and broad definition that makes businesses liable for workplaces they don’t control, and workers they don’t employ. The ad points out that the decision makes it harder for small businesses to grow by undercutting the 733,000 franchise businesses across the country, which contribute 7.6 million jobs and $404 billion to America’s economy.

The Save Local Business Act, with more than 120 bipartisan cosponsors, would clarify that businesses can only be found to be joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if they exercise direct control over the same set of employees.

“Over the past three years, lawmakers have heard from countless franchise owners who need clarity on the joint employer issue so they can open more locations, create more jobs and provide the support necessary for their franchisees to succeed,” said IFA SVP of Public Affairs and Government Relations Matt Haller.

In early October, the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee passed the Save Local Business Act. On Tuesday, November 7, H.R. 3441 will be considered before a full-House vote.