Barletta Pushes for Clear Workplace Employment Standards

Oct 4, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta helped push legislation that would protect American jobs and entrepreneurship through the Committee on Education and the Workforce.  The Save Local Business Act, H.R. 3441, of which Barletta is an original cosponsor, would roll back the Obama era definition of a “joint employer.”  The bill passed out of committee by a vote of 23 to 17.

“This decision by the Obama Administration is a textbook definition of faceless, unelected Washington bureaucrats hindering the ability of Americans to grow their small businesses, or realize their dreams of owning their own companies,” said Rep. Barletta.  “I’m glad the House is taking the appropriate steps to provide clarity for hard-working Pennsylvanians and ensure that their jobs and businesses will remain into the future.  I’ve signed the front of a paycheck, and I can tell you from experience that Washington micromanaging business decisions means less jobs for all Americans.  I encourage House leadership to immediately bring this measure to the floor for a vote.”

In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board decided to overlook decades of settled labor policy when they redefined what it means to be a “joint employer.”  Traditionally, two businesses were considered “joint employers” if they shared direct control over the terms and conditions of employment, including hiring decisions.

Under the Obama era ruling, two separate businesses could be considered joint employers for something as simple as sharing a business agreement that either indirectly or potentially affects their employees’ working environment.  This vague definition has especially endangered small franchisees – making it more likely that they could lose their business to a larger company.  The standard has also made it increasingly difficult to start a business, or for existing ones to grow.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, introduced the Save Local Business Act.  The legislation reaffirms that two or more employers must have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.  

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