Lawmakers Seek Joint-employer Delay

In a bipartisan effort, members of Congress are reaching across the aisle to try and roll back the NLRB’s definition of the joint-employer standard.

Last week the National Restaurant Association applauded Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-New Jersey, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, for their bipartisan work in trying to roll back the National Labor Relation Board’s definition of the joint-employer standard.

The two, if successful, could bring much needed relief to restaurants and other small businesses around the country

Fifty-six legislators sent a letter April 5 to Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, and ranking member Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., asking them to include language in the Labor-HHS 2018 budget that would put a one-year hold on this “harmful and confusing new definition of joint employers.”

The new definition would hold businesses liable for the “management and actions of workers they do business with, but don’t actually employ or control,” the lawmakers wrote.

“The new standard could extend liability from individual franchisees to brand companies, from subcontractors to larger employers and even from a vendor or supplier to the company purchasing their products or services.”

In August 2015, the controversial NLRB decision to change the definition determined that two companies should be considered Joint Employers through indirect and potential control of employees. The 3-2 decision reversed nearly 30 years of labor law, which held that an employer needed to have actual or direct control over employees.

MacArthur and Cuellar have urged Cole and DeLauro to use the Appropriations process to put the definition on hold.