Oct 29, 2015
NRF welcomes committee passage of Joint Employer Bill

The National Retail Federation applauded committee passage of legislation that would supersede a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling that significantly broadened the definition of a joint employer.

“Business owners face enough uncertainty in the marketplace without the government muddying the waters on business-to-business relationships,” said NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French. “The NLRB’s decision to reverse three decades of precedent defining joint employers would unfairly make companies that work with franchise locations or subcontractors responsible for actions they do not control. NRF urges Congress to quickly pass this legislation and restore much-needed certainty for America’s job creators.”

Under guidelines followed for more than 30 years, the NLRB held that a company had to have direct control over the actions of a franchisee or subcontractor’s employees in order to be considered a joint employer. However, in an August ruling in a case involving the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries, the NLRB said a company could be considered a joint employer even if it had only indirect or unexercised potential control.

H.R. 3459, the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, which passed the House Education and Workforce Committee today, would amend the National Labor Relations Act to specify that two or more employers may be considered joint employers only if each has “actual, direct and immediate” control over essential terms and conditions of employment such as the ability to hire, fire, discipline, supervise or direct employees.

NRF sent a letter to committee leadership yesterday in support of the bill.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

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