October 3, 2017
The Honorable Virginia Foxx
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.
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.