June 22, 2017
CONTACT: Ryan Williams


Bipartisan Consensus Exists Around Undoing New Joint Employer Rule

Heather Greenaway
June 21, 2017

Last November, Americans voted for change from the previous eight years. The economy was perceived to remain sluggish, wages stagnated and businesses felt squeezed by their own government. Among all the new government regulations and mandates that employers faced on multiple fronts, one of the worst anti-business offenders was the National Labor Relations Board.

President Obama’s NLRB was stacked with Big Labor allies and its decisions benefited them time and again. From rulings permitting micro unions — small, hand-selected groups of employee units — to permitting the disclosure of employee personal information to union organizers to expediting the election timeframe to ambush workers, Obama’s labor board took away worker freedoms and handed them to special interests in the labor movement.

One such decision was establishing the new joint employer standard, which turned the established franchise model on its head and changed decades of labor law. This standard, which was modified in 2015 by the Browning-Ferris ruling, marked a drastic change concerning business liability and workplace law violations.

Before 2015, the standard was that employers were responsible only for those employees whom they had direct authority over in the workplace. However, the new standard established a policy where liability was expanded to businesses that did not have direct purview over workplace employees.

This confusing and vague regulation had the potential to cripple small businesses, particularly franchises, as parent companies would now be faced with liability of their franchisee’s employees.

This confusion created a difficult business environment for many local employers, such as franchisees, raising questions whether investment was wise and sound. One factor that differentiates franchises is that they provide ready-made opportunities for entrepreneurs who can work with established brands and bring jobs and economic investment to a community.

According to a September 2016 study by the International Franchise Association, franchises generate $674 billion in economic impact and provide more than 7.6 million jobs. For such large economic drivers, it is important that the government create an environment encouraging growth and hiring, not burdensome and confusing regulations that impede increases in employment and market expansion.

That is why Republicans and Democrats alike have spoken out about the new joint employer standard. In an era where there are few examples of bipartisanship, elected officials on both sides of the aisle — such as Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Henry Cuellar of Texas and Jim Costa of California, and Republicans Dave Brat of Virginia, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey and Andy Barr of Kentucky — have come together to denounce this threat to local ownership.

They join many in the business community who were pleased to see that the Department of Labor recently announced that it was withdrawing its informal guidance on new joint employment standards. This important measure clarifies the law’s current interpretation and returns to the pre-2015 status in a welcome change, which demonstrates that the new administration is committed to working with employers, both big and small, to ensure that they are positioned to succeed.

While this progress should be heartening for American workers and businesses alike, more must be done to roll back the NLRB’s joint employer standard and other labor rulings by the Obama NLRB. The Labor Department’s decision on the new joint employer standard is welcomed as it shows there are policies that merit both Republican and Democratic consensus. But to be clear, more work needs to be done to make certain union leaders are not dictating our country’s labor policies and the interests of workers are placed above all else.

Heather Greenaway is a national spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit:

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.



Tell Congress: Stop the PRO Act

WFI is working to prevent passage of the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act)—a wholesale labor reform package that takes the current careful balance of labor rules and tips it greatly in the favor of labor bosses and forced collective bargaining.

The PRO Act robs workers of the right to a secret ballot to form a union, forces union contracts on workers without a vote of approval, and expose workers’ personal contact information to union bosses seeking to organize a workplace. And that’s just the start.

Help us speak out against this woefully misguided and blatantly anti-worker legislation. Review and send the message below to your members of Congress today.

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WFI Key Vote Letter: Opposition to PRO Act

— 02.10.2020 —
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), I am writing to share our organization’s vehement opposition to H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). WFI has serious concerns with the broad, overreaching nature of this legislation and the many ways in which it would undermine worker freedom and privacy, while simultaneously threatening businesses and entire industries that keep America’s economy thriving. Please note that WFI will include votes on the PRO Act and its amendments on our Congressional Labor Scorecard, which scores and ranks legislators based on their activity associated with workplace issues. WFI was established to fight for American employees and employers as well as our entire economy. We believe in worker empowerment, the right of workers to be fully informed of the options available for worker-involvement in the workplace, and the right to freely choose whether to organize or not. No individual or group – government, a union or an employer – should be able to intimidate or restrict workers’ in exercising these rights. In an attempt to boost flailing union membership at the expense of workers’ rights, the PRO Act would upend decades of established U.S. labor law and institute myriad anti-employee and anti-employer policies that have already been soundly rejected—by Congress, various federal agencies, or the courts. Among its most blatant affronts to workers’ rights, the PRO Act would eliminate the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to unionize and enforce a “card check” system, exposing workers to the potential for harassment, intimidation, and coercion. The PRO Act would also enforce binding arbitration in union negotiations by a government- appointed bureaucrat; repeal and eliminate right-to-work laws in 27 states, force workers to fund union activities regardless of whether they support them; and threaten the ability of individuals to operate as independent contractors, eliminating traditional economic and employment opportunities and threatening the independence and flexibility of the emerging gig economy. On top of all that, the PRO Act would force all workers’ personal and home contact information to be provided to a union during organizing campaigns – in an electronic, searchable format no less, with no limit on what a union can do with that information. WFI believes in advancing sensible policies that protect and preserve the rights of both employees and employers, and we welcome the opportunity to work with legislators who also support these efforts. However, the PRO Act does not achieve these goals and would instead threaten the rights of both while jeopardizing our entire economy. WFI urges members of the House to strongly oppose the PRO Act. Sincerely, Heather Greenaway Executive Director Workforce Fairness Institute See the letter here.
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