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NRF seeks reversal of joint employer ruling


Washington, D.C. - The National Retail Federation (NRF) is not backing down from its opposition to an expanded definition of “joint employer.”

The NRF is publicly asking Congress to pass legislation introduced this week that would reverse a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling that significantly broadens the definition of a joint employer.

According to the NRF, the move would unfairly make companies that work with franchise locations or subcontractors responsible for actions they do not control.

“The board’s decision has significant negative implications for essentially any and every type of business-to-business relationship and will undermine job creation and small business growth across America,” NRF senior VP for government relations David French said. “These harmful and unnecessary changes are out of sync with reality and are certain to create immense instability in business relationships.”

French’s comments came in a letter to House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

Kline and Alexander this week introduced the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act. Under guidelines followed for more than 30 years, the NLRB held that a company had to have direct control of the actions of a franchisee or subcontractor in order to be considered a joint employer. Under its August ruling in a case involving the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries, the board said a company could be considered a joint employer even if it had only indirect or potential control.

The Kline-Alexander bill would require that the earlier standard of direct control be used.

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