October 09, 2015
This week, the Senate HELP Committee examined the NLRB's joint employer decision in Browning-Ferris, laying the groundwork for considering an HR Policy-supported bill to reverse the decision. The Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act (S. 2015/H.R. 3459) would restore the traditional standard to the National Labor Relations Act such that two or more employers would be considered joint employers only if their individual control over essential terms and conditions of employment is actual, direct, and immediate. HELP Committee Chairman and sponsor of the bill Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said in his opening statement that the new standard "will make big businesses bigger and make the middle class smaller by discouraging larger companies from franchising and contracting work to small businesses. It is the biggest attack on the opportunity for small businessmen and women in this country to make their way up the economic ladder in a long, long time." Sen. Alexander further noted that there are over 780,000 franchise establishments across the country providing nearly nine million jobs, and that half of these franchises are owned or co-owned by women while 20 percent are owned by minorities. While Democrats voiced their opposition to the bill, business owner Edward Martin of Tilson Home Corporation testified that the new standard "leaves employers guessing" and “simply does not make sense in the real world." Last week, HR Policy signed onto a letter written by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace urging Congress to pass the bill.