While all eyes were on the Senate healthcare vote in Washington last week, members of the House were working to undo one of the biggest governmental threats to small businesses—repealing the expansion of the joint employer standard that held businesses responsible for the actions of companies they hire or partner with.
The bill is known as the Save Local Business Act, and it would restore the standard for what constitutes a “joint employer” to businesses that have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees. That had been the standard for 30 years, but in 2015, the National Labor Relations Board expanded it to include businesses that have “indirect, potential, or unexercised control” over another entity. The decision in Browning Ferris Industries (BFI) suddenly subjected thousands of small businesses to liabilities presented by the actions of subcontractors and temp agencies, and made cooperation between franchisers and their franchisees difficult.
The Save Local Business Act, H.R. 3441, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), was introduced on July 27 and has been referred to the Committee on Education and Workforce.
“Federal labor policies should be focused on benefiting workers and helping small businesses grow instead of creating barriers that limit opportunity,” Byrne said in a press release. “Also important, Congress—not unelected federal bureaucrats—should set our nation’s labor policies through statute instead of executive fiat.”