February 14th, 2017
Dozens of Leading Small Business Organizations Call on Congress to Enact Joint Employer FIX
The Coalition to Save Local Businesses (CSLB), which represents a diverse group of locally owned, independent small businesses, associations and organizations, sent a letter today to Members of Congress regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) August 2015 limitless “joint employer” standard, and urging Congressional Leaders to take immediate steps to reverse the burdensome regulation that continues to present growing harm to businesses throughout the United States.
In its letter, the CSLB, which includes the American Hotel & Lodging Association, International Franchise Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, expressed serious concerns that: “[t]he unlimited joint employer liability standard will continue to harm businesses in numerous industries under multiple federal and state statutes until Congress enacts a permanent, legislative solution that promotes economic growth and job creation in every state and congressional district.”
As the letter states, in 2015, the NLRB overruled more than thirty years of bipartisan precedent when issuing its decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc (BFI). In doing so, the Board replaced the predictable and clear “direct and immediate control” standard for determining joint employer status with a new test based on “indirect” and “potential” control over workers’ terms and conditions of employment. The decision exposed a broad range of businesses, from contractors and subcontractors, to franchisors and franchisees, to workplace liability for another employer’s actions and for workers they do not employ.
To view the letter in its entirety, click here.
In the aftermath of the BFI decision, members of the CSLB have been actively engaging with elected officials and policymakers to educate them about the negative impacts of this new regulation on employers and employees alike. Members of Congress have held numerous hearings on this issue in an effort to gain firsthand knowledge of the impact of this regulation, and others, on locally owned businesses. This week, the House Education Committee will hold two hearings with witnesses testifying on behalf of the CSLB.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hear testimony from Reem Aloul, the president of Brightstar Care of Arlington, Virginia. Aloul, born in Jordan and educated at the American University in Cairo, had more than 20 years of senior executive experience in management consulting and international economic and social development before leaving her corporate career to pursue her “American Dream” of owning a small business. Today, Aloul is not only providing a valuable service for some of our nation’s most vulnerable, but she is also providing jobs for more than 80 employees in Northern Virginia.
On Thursday, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections will hear testimony from Rhea Lana Riner, the CEO and founder of Rhea Lana’s Children’s Consignment Events of Conway, Arkansas. Riner founded her clothing consignment company in her living room nearly two decades ago, and today, it has grown to 80 franchise locations in 24 states. However, in 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor began auditing her business and claimed it was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act because volunteers were allowed to staff consignment events. In the ensuing years, Riner has continued to fight endless legal battles to defend and protect her business. In 2016, Riner won her first appeal.
The Coalition to Save Local Businesses represents thousands of local businesses and millions of American jobs through its membership and partner organizations. The coalition’s goal is to inform Members of Congress and others about the negative consequences decisions by the National Labor Relations Board to expand the definition of who can be held as a joint employer would have on local businesses and their employees across the country. The coalition is asking Congress to support legislation that would make permanent the long-standing and widely accepted definition of joint employer. To learn more about the coalition visit the website, www.SaveLocalBusinesses.com.