Congress Taking Action to Reverse Harmful NLRB Decision

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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2015 | comments
Republican leaders in Congress have started an effort to roll back a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that radically changes what it means to be an employer and will have far-reaching consequences for working families, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. In response to the board’s latest Big Labor ploy, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act. Upon introduction, the chairmen explained:

The NLRB’s new joint employer standard would make big businesses bigger and the middle class smaller by discouraging companies from franchising and contracting work to small businesses … Our commonsense proposal would restore policies in place long before the NLRB’s radical decision, the very same policies that served workers, employers, and consumers well for decades.

As numerous news outlets and stakeholders noted, the activist board’s decision would benefit union bosses at the expense of hardworking men and women:

  • Republicans on Wednesday made good on their promise to try to reverse a landmark ruling that will ease unionization for contract workers and others. – “Republicans Try to Reverse Ruling on Unionization for Contractors,” The Wall Street Journal
  • Under President Obama, the board has acted to expand the definition [of joint employer] … Companies would be forced to either assert more control over franchises' business practices to counter their increased liability or sever ties with them, forcing them to survive without the help of the company brand. – “GOP Announces Bill to Rein in Labor Agency,” Washington Examiner
  • Republicans blasted the decision as yet another way to expand labor’s grip on the workforce … They fear the joint employer ruling could force many franchisees out of business. – “Republicans Take Aim at NLRB's 'Joint Employer' Ruling,” The Hill

The legislation will protect workers and employers from the harmful effects of the board’s overreach and prevent the disruption of countless small businesses:

  • Republican leaders of the House and Senate labor committees introduced legislation to undo the recent National Labor Relation's Board ruling that expanded the definition of a joint employer. Instead of classifying franchisors as employers even if they only influence employees indirectly, the bill would force the return to a definition in which companies can only considered employers if they have "direct and immediate" control over workers. – “Lawmakers Push Back Against Joint Employer Ruling,” Fox News
  • “With the introduction of a bill to restore the traditional joint-employer standard, Congress has the chance to return stability and flexibility to thousands of business relationships and employment arrangements across the country,” [Competitive Enterprise Institute] labor expert Trey Kovacs said … – “Republicans Introduce Bill to Reverse NLRB’s Far-Reaching New Franchise Rule,” The Daily Caller
  • A reversal will prevent companies from being discouraged to contract work to smaller businesses and to enter franchising agreements, the GOP lawmakers said … – “Republicans Try to Reverse Ruling on Unionization for Contractors,” The Wall Street Journal

With the Obama NLRB continuing to act against the interests of America’s workforce, Republicans remain committed to advancing commonsense solutions – like the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act – that protect working families and job creators. As House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) said yesterday:

With an economy still struggling to recover, the last thing we need is more union favoritism that makes it harder for small businesses to survive and more difficult for Americans to find jobs … Unlike the NLRB’s misguided decision, this legislation will help, rather than hurt, the men and women working hard to provide for their families and those who aspire to one day have a business of their own.

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