December 13, 2018

Jenna Weisbord, 310-995-0839

IFA Praises Members of Congress for Expressing Continued Support of NLRB Efforts to Clarify the Joint Employer Standard

Congressional Letter Follows Additional NLRB Rulemaking Delay

(Washington, Dec 13) – The International Franchise Association (IFA) today praised Members of Congress for urging the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to clarify the joint employer status that impacts millions of American businesses.

In a letter sent earlier today to the NLRB by Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), a bipartisan group of 83 Members of Congress demonstrated their support for current proposed rulemaking that will provide much needed clarification to the many legal questions impacting the nation’s small business owners and threatening job creation.

Prior to the NLRB’s second rulemaking delay, today was the deadline to submit comments as part of the joint employer rulemaking process.

“We applaud the leadership of these bipartisan Members of Congress for their ongoing efforts to address the unpredictability surrounding joint employer liability. As IFA’s comments to the NLRB will demonstrate, this uncertainty has caused significant economic damage to the franchise sector that must be reversed through this rulemaking,” said IFA’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs Matt Haller. “This congressional action shows the importance of a joint employer rulemaking to businesses and their employees across the country. Congressman Byrne’s letter is a strong statement of support for local businesses.”

The joint employer uncertainty began in 2015, following the NLRB’s expanded joint employer rules and conflicting interpretations of joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act by the Labor Department and various federal and state court rulings.

The most notable of these actions is the NLRB’s controversial 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries decision.  This decision, the letter argues, “overturned decades of bipartisan legal precedent by replacing the predictable and clear test based on ‘direct and immediate control’ standard for determining joint employer status,” replacing it with a vague test that exposes millions in business community to inappropriate workplace liability.

In November 2017, the House passed HR 3441, the Save Local Business Act, to address the joint employer issue, but the legislation remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.

“Given the vacuum created by the uncertainty and a lack of legislative action,” the letter reads, “we support the NLRB’s decision to step forward and fill the void.”

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 58 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.