October 3, 2017

 

The Honorable Virginia Foxx
Chairwoman
Committee on Education and the Workforce
2262 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairwoman Foxx,

On Behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), an organization devoted to educating workers, their employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace, I would like to thank you for scheduling a markup of H.R. 3441, the Save Local Businesses Act.  This legislation would free job creators – particularly those in the franchise space – from the new “joint-employer” standard, an anti-growth, anti-worker regulation put in place by the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

This new standard, which was modified in 2015 by the Browning-Ferris ruling, marked the reversal of decades of established labor law.  Previously, the standard was that employers were responsible only for those employees whom they exerted “direct control” over.  However, the new standard established a policy wherein liability was expanded to businesses that did not have direct purview over workplace employees or were under their “indirect control.”

While this misguided policy’s implications were widespread, it particularly threatened the franchise industry.  By forcing parent companies to assume liability for their franchisees’ employees, businesses became responsible for measures far beyond their own control and risked millions of jobs.

Thankfully, your committee is scheduled to markup legislation that would end this misguided policy and restore the balance of power in workplaces across the country.  The Save Local Businesses Act would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers.  In effect, this bill would preserve the franchise business model for thousands of small businesses and free employers from the risk of liability for actions undertaken by other independently owned and operated entities.

Despite the usual partisan divide in Washington, this legislation enjoys broad, bipartisan support.  The bill has 80 cosponsors, including Democratic Representatives Henry Cuellar of Texas, Luis Correa of California and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

Americans need confidence that their representatives in Washington are committed to standing up against burdensome and ill-conceived regulations and committed to advancing a pro-growth and pro-worker agenda.  In sum, the Save Local Businesses Act would do just that.  This legislation is smart policy which deserves the support of the members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.  To expeditiously move this legislation to the President’s desk, I urge you pass the Save Local Businesses Act out of committee and advocate for a vote in the near term on the floor of the U.S. House.

Sincerely,

Heather Greenaway
Workforce Fairness Institute

 

### 

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: http://www.workforcefairness.com. 

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.

Read More »

Not a member? Sign up and become one today.

Featured Blog

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.
Read More