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National Restaurant Association - House passes joint employer bill, aims to save local business

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House passes joint employer bill, aims to save local business

The National Restaurant Association strongly applauded Congress for standing up for restaurants and small businesses across the country by passing legislation to reverse the National Labor Relations Board’s expansion of the federal joint employer rule.

“The bipartisan passage of the Save Local Business Act will restore the clear, traditional standard of joint employment,” said Cicely Simpson, our executive vice president of public affairs.”

The 411 on H.R. 3441: The “Save Local Business Act,” passed by the House Nov. 7, aims to prevent the NLRB from holding businesses liable for labor law violations committed by franchisees or contractors. In 2015, the NLRB changed the rule’s definition. That decision overturned more than 30 years of joint-employment legal precedent, replacing it with a vague standard that has created uncertainty for employers and employees alike.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes: We’ve worked with Congress to pass this legislation and protect how small operators run their businesses independently of their franchisees and contractors. The bill, authored by Education and Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), had 123 co-sponsors.

Fighting the good fight: In our effort to reverse the NLRB’s expanded definition of the joint employer standard, we:

  • Filed two amicus briefs in support of Browning-Ferris Industries of California’s filing against the NLRB. The case challenged the NLRB’s 2015 ruling that redefined the legal standard for joint employer determinations and its muddled guidance on how to apply the standard in future and retroactively. We filed the amicus briefs following the initial case and during the appeals process.
  • Filed an amicus brief that supported the CNN America’s filing against the NLRB on joint employer. In 2014, the NLRB found that CNN America Inc. was a joint employer with a subcontractor and urged the D.C. Circuit Court to order CNN to rehire or pay back wages to union workers fired by the subcontractor when CNN canceled that contract. In August 2017, the court reversed the NLRB’s 2014 ruling.
  • Supported Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s decision to withdraw the Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors.
  • Engaged in steady conversation with lawmakers and whipped up support for the Save Local Business Act’s introduction in the House and its passage out of committee.

What’s next: The Senate needs to pass the bill before it can be signed by President Trump.

Learn more about our work on the joint employer standard

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