OPINIONWorkforce

Can the redefinition of 'joint employer' be stopped?

Working Lunch: The National Labor Relations Board's controversial move is likely to be challenged immediately in court. The franchise community is also likely to push for use of the Congressional Review Act. But will either effort succeed?

With regulators’ decision last week to hold franchisors accountable for the labor practices of their franchisees, restaurant chains and their advocates are searching for a way to preserve the status quo. Could any Plan B keep the definition of “joint employer” as it is?

This week’s Working Lunch podcast reviews the Hail Marys that restaurant advocates are most likely to try in their effort to thwart the National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to hold franchisors responsible and hence legally liable for a franchisee’s labor practices. The new broadening of franchisors' responsibilities is scheduled to take effect Dec. 26.

Court challenges of the NLRB and its authority to reset the joint employer standards are likely to happen first, and quickly, agreed Franklin Coley and Joe Kefauver, the co-hosts of Working Lunch and business partners in the Orlando, Fla.-based lobbying firm Align Public Strategies.

The effort will also likely extend to invoking the Congressional Review Act, an infrequently used measure that give Congress the authority to overturn executive branch policies and regulations, though on an extremely limited scale. The Act is typically wielded by a new Congress to overturn actions by a president who has been succeeded by someone from the opposite political party.

Do any of the fallback efforts have a chance of succeeding? Press play to find out.

You’ll also get an update on the decades-long effort to curb the fees charged by banks for processing credit card fees. That hope for relief comes from an unlikely source: The Federal Reserve Bank.

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