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Business groups support bill to overturn NLRB's 'joint-employer' ruling

Senior Republicans introduced legislation to roll back the National Labor Relations Board expansion of who is a joint employer.

Under a new NLRB ruling, businesses without direct control over workers employed by their franchisees, subcontractors and temporary staffing agencies can be joint employers if they have indirect control or potential control over these workers’ terms and conditions of employment.

The new standard could boost the efforts of labor unions to organize fast-food workers. It also could force franchisors to exercise more control of their franchisees, making owning a franchise a less desirable option for small business owners.

The two-paragraph Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act would overturn the NLRB’s new standard by stating that two or more employers would be considered joint employers only if they share “actual, direct and immediate” control “over essential terms and conditions of employment.”

“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,” said bill sponsors Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who each chair committees with jurisdiction over labor matters.

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