ICYMI: America’s Workers, Job Creators Need The Save Local Business Act

WFI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
August 7, 2017                                                                                                    202-677-7060

 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 America’s Workers, Job Creators Need The Save Local Business Act

 Heather Greenaway
August 4, 2017
The Hill

During the eight years of the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rolled out a series of anti-business policies that hurt workers and job creators alike. Few of these acts were more depredating for employees and employers than the NLRB’s new joint employer standard.  The misguided policy upended decades of labor law representing a direct and existential threat to the franchise industry, forcing job creators to take responsibility for measures far beyond their control, ultimately hurting workers at the behest of big labor bosses.

Before the new joint employer standard, businesses were only liable for employment violations that occurred in workplaces under their “direct control.”  By enforcing a new standard, the liability was expanded to workplaces under their “indirect control,” meaning a business or company could be found liable in a variety of different situations, such as when it contracted work to a completely separate entity.

The NLRB’s new joint employer standard meant franchises, which create great economic mobility as they provide ambitious entrepreneurs with pre-packaged business models and concepts, were at risk of never opening their doors, or worse yet, closing them altogether.

According to the International Franchise Association, franchises generate $674 billion in economic impact and are responsible for more than 7.6 million jobs. For such a large economic driver, government should take great care before promulgating burdensome regulations costing employees – in many cases most in need – their jobs.

Thankfully, despite the current political divide in Washington, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are unified in their opposition to the NLRB’s reckless joint employer agenda. Democratic Reps. Lou Correa (Calif.) and Henry Cuellar (Texas) joined with Republican Reps. Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Tim Walberg (Mich.), and Bradley Byrne (Ala.) to oppose the new joint employer standard.

By introducing HR 3441, The Save Local Business Act, this bipartisan group of elected officials has taken a proactive step toward restoring workers’ rights.

It is no surprise that among the few supporters of the new joint employer standard are union bosses, who pumped millions of dollars into President Obama’s campaigns, expecting and receiving payback in the form of anti-worker and anti-business actions undertaken by a supposed independent agency.

Byrne, who introduced the legislation to end the new joint employer standard, aptly stated, “The people who own these fast food franchises, they’re big time members of our community. They’re the ones we go to get sponsorships for the little league. They’re the ones participating in the Chamber of Commerce.” Thus, the joint employer standard is not a regulation reining in big business, but rather a massive hurdle for small business owners making meaningful impacts in communities across the nation.

The law would amend the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers. In effect, this bill would free national franchise organizations from liability in their local chains, which set their own hours and policies.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta withdrew the Department of Labor’s “informal guidance” on the new joint employment standard; however, the NLRB has not rescinded it, meaning it still could be applied.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), which advocates on behalf of business owners.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

 To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To Kaplan Confirmation

WFI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams

August 2, 2017                                                                                                    202-677-7060

 Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To Kaplan Confirmation

 Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Senate voting to confirm Marvin Kaplan to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):

“The Workforce Fairness Institute is pleased to see that Marvin Kaplan has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Labor Relations Board.  As counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Kaplan’s experience and expertise ensures he will understand the critical issues confronting American workers and businesses, while standing up to the special interests and Big Labor bosses who believe the independent agency’s role is to do their bidding.  Job creators must have confidence government is committed to restoring balance in workplaces and the confirmation of Kaplan is yet another step in that direction.  We look forward to the Board functioning at full capacity in the near future once William Emanuel is also confirmed by the Senate.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To New Joint Employer Standard Legislation

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams

July 27, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

 

Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To New Joint Employer Standard Legislation
Bipartisan Consensus Exists To Sideline Misguided Policy

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to legislation rewriting the legal definition of joint employment and undoing the Browning-Ferris decision reached by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):

“Under the previous administration, the National Labor Relations Board operated as an extension of Big Labor as evidenced by its decision to create a new joint employer standard undoing decades of labor law and radically changing policy surrounding business liability and workplace law violations.  Few issues on Capitol Hill receive bipartisan backing, yet undoing this deeply flawed decision has engendered support among Republicans and Democrats alike.  The Save Local Business Act introduced today in the U.S. House takes a significant step toward undoing this confusing and vague regulation that cripples job creators.  We look forward to working with both parties in advocating for legislation protecting small businesses with the expectation it expeditiously advances in Congress and reaches the President’s desk becoming law.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: The GOP’s Labor Project

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 24, 2017                                                                                                       202-677-7060

 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 The GOP’s Labor Project

How Congress Can Protect Worker Rights From Union Coercion

Editorial
July 21, 2017
The Wall Street Journal

With health care consuming most of Congress’s bandwidth, Republicans may need to multi-task to achieve other legislative successes this session. Perhaps they could start with reforms to U.S. labor law.

The 1935 National Labor Relations Act hasn’t undergone substantive revisions in 70 years, while the U.S. Constitution has been amended six times. Congress has traditionally deferred to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to interpret labor law, but Barack Obama’s appointees demonstrated the need to safeguard worker rights in statute as they rigged the rules to favor unions.

House Republicans have now introduced an Employee Rights Act partly modeled on state reforms. In the last Congress 137 House Members and 33 Senators co-sponsored similar legislation, which never moved because Mr. Obama had the veto pen. Now they have an ally in the White House.

The House bill would require unions to obtain permission from workers to spend their dues on purposes other than collective bargaining. Current labor law lets unions deduct money from worker paychecks to fund political activities. Workers then must go through the tortuous process of requesting a refund for the share not spent on collective bargaining, which unions may broadly define to include member engagement that boosts voter turnout. No other political outfit enjoys this fundraising fillip.

Democrats oppose an opt-in requirement because they know many workers won’t voluntarily endorse a portion of their paychecks to fund political spending with which they disagree. Exit polls last year showed that 43% of union households voted for Republicans while Democrats received 86% of labor financial support. An opt-in rule could improve political accountability within unions.

Another problem is that only 7% of currently unionized employees voted for their union, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and NLRB data. Many workforces have turned over completely since their unions were certified. Yet decertifying a union is an arduous process made more difficult by the Obama NLRB.

The House bill would mandate a recertification election upon the expiration of a collective-bargaining agreement if a workforce has turned over by more than 50%. In 2011 Wisconsin passed legislation requiring annual recertification elections for public unions. Membership has since dropped by half as many workers have decided that the costs of belonging exceed the benefits.

Unions sometimes coerce workers into signing cards and then bully employers—for instance, by threatening a public assault on their brand—into recognizing the card checks in lieu of holding secret-ballot elections. The bill would protect workers and employers from union intimidation by taking card-check off the menu of options. It would also allow employees to withhold their personal contact information from unions.

Republicans might not be able to get the 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, but they could break up the legislation into bite-sized pieces that could be attached to spending bills. Most provisions poll well and can be easily explained to voters. Let’s see who in Congress will vote to protect workers from coercion.

To access the editorial, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

 To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To 2018 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams

July 20, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

 

Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To 2018 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill
Blocking New Joint Employer Standard & Micro-Unions Is Good Step Forward; Inability To Stop Ambush Elections Missed Opportunity

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today reacting to developments surrounding the FY 2018 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill:

“It is a positive development for America’s employees and employers that the bill funding the National Labor Relations Board will prevent the job-killing new joint employer standard, as well as the deeply flawed micro-union decision.  The new joint employer standard upended decades of labor law through the Browning-Ferris ruling and created a new standard where liability was expanded to businesses that did not have direct purview over workplace employees.  Just as bad, the Specialty Healthcare decision completely altered the standard for determining the makeup of a collective bargaining unit giving union bosses the ability to organize small subsets of employees known as micro-unions.  Unfortunately though, an opportunity was missed to address the board’s decision to condense the union organizing election timeframe giving workers and businesses as few as 11 days to prepare.  Going forward, the collection of these issues demands the continued attention of lawmakers as they threaten jobs and discourage employers from engaging confidently in our economy and in manner that benefits all Americans.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: Congress Starts To Roll Back Damage Done By Unions Under Obama

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 19, 2017                                                                                                       202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Congress Starts To Roll Back Damage Done By Unions Under Obama

Heather Greenaway
July 18, 2017
The Washington Examiner

The National Labor Relations Board saw many victories in its crusade against employee and employer rights under the Obama administration. Big Labor bosses shortened the timeframe for a union election to an unprecedented 11 days, while also forcing businesses to hand over troves of their workers’ personal information. This senseless condensed organizing election timeline and data collection effort has led to employee harassment at the hands of union organizers.

While there is hope the NLRB’s campaign against employees and employers will cease now that President Trump has named his nominees to the board, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has taken major steps to roll back the agency’s misguided actions.

By approving the Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775) and the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776), introduced by Reps. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., and Tim Walberg, R-Mich., respectively, workers’ rights to protect their privacy and freedom to cast informed votes in union elections will be restored once again.

The NLRB’s decision to shorten the timeframe for union elections has had significant effects on employees and employers alike. This rule has allowed union organizers to quietly garner support for unionization, then ambush businesses with elections shortly thereafter. This gives employers a mere 11 days to prepare their arguments and inform employees about the consequences of unionization. With businesses having such little time to prepare, workers are unable to hear both sides of the story which affects their ability to make a decision on a matter that will have a dramatic impact on their day-to-day lives.

In addition to weaponizing the union election process under Obama, the NLRB also decided to force employers to hand over vast amounts of workers’ personal information. The mandate forces businesses to turn over information that workers disclosed assuming it would not be shared with the government, but used in the event of an emergency. Now, Big Labor bosses gain access to the data without a hint of employee approval and use it to intimidate workers into forming collective bargaining units.

Although it seems hard to believe that the government would force employers to disclose employees’ personal information, the decision has real-life, practical implications, including union organizers using employee contact information to ambush workers at their homes and coerce them into signing union authorization cards.

It is clear the NLRB has operated as an outside arm of labor bosses seeking to advance their agenda while stripping away the rights of workers and businesses. Thankfully, the Employee Privacy Protection Act and the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act have been approved in committee and are on their way to a full vote in the House. H.R. 2775 would restore workers’ rights to control what personal information about them is shared during union organizing efforts, and H.R. 2776 would ensure a reasonable timeframe for labor elections of 35 days is maintained, allowing all parties involved to gain information and make an informed decision.

Big Labor’s expansion of power and influence under the Obama administration is now being reversed on two fronts: new board members whose nominations will soon receive votes in the Senate so they can get to work, and Congress enacting — starting with H.R. 2775 and 2776 — important steps toward restoring the balance of power in America’s workplaces, placing power back in the hands of workers and job creators.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Issues Statement Concerning National Labor Relations Board Nomination Hearings

WFI

Workforce Fairness Institute Issues Statement Concerning National Labor Relations Board Nomination Hearings
Time For Posturing Has Ended & Time For Restoring Workplace Balance Has Arrived

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) undertaking hearings for Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board:

“The work being undertaken by the Senate labor committee with respect to the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board could not be more important.  For nearly one decade, this so-called independent agency has operated as an arm of Big Labor rendering decisions and rulings that have undone decades of legal precedent, while punishing employees and employers.  With a fully functional board, including Kaplan and Emanuel, balance can finally be restored to workplaces and the taxpayer-funded handouts to union bosses will end.  Both Kaplan and Emanuel are eminently qualified for the posts and it is our hope the Senate undertakes its constitutional role of advice and consent judiciously, but without undue delay so that workers and small businesses can have confidence their government plays a constructive not corrosive role in American workplaces.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: Return Power To Union Members

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 6, 2017                                                                                                        202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Return Power To Union Members

Editorial
July 4, 2017
The Detroit News

Unions should serve the interests of the employees, but too often union leadership ignores the members they are supposed to serve to pursue power and influence. Legislation in Congress could change this, and it has a good chance of passing.

The Employee Rights Act would protect workers from union leadership abuses through eight employee reforms that put the workers first, including secret ballot elections, paycheck protection and union recertification. These reforms would help shift the balance of power, returning it to the employees.

“All workers should be able to privately decide which organizations they wish to join, said U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, a co-sponsor of the ERA, in an email. “The Employee Rights Act makes that possible by ensuring all Americans enjoy the right to a secret ballot in the workplace.”

Measures to reform labor law, like the ERA, are seeing an unprecedented amount of support. For decades, the status quo has remained untouched, allowing the labor unions to empower union leadership while depriving workers of several basic rights and protections.

Labor unions want to extend their reach, and to do this they need more dues-paying members. As a result, many employees find themselves with union representation they never asked for. According to ERA supporters, less than 7 percent of union members voted for the union that now represents them.

The ERA would require union recertification, which would require every unionized workplace to regularly stand for re-election so employees can determine whether they want to continue to be represented by an incumbent union.

As it exists, the system allows unions to stay in place indefinitely unless workers petition for a decertification vote. This rarely happens, though, because workers must wade through miles of legal red tape.

The ERA would also uphold secret ballot elections, which protect workers from external pressure when deciding for or against union representation. Voluntary and involuntary members of various unions are currently plagued by bullying-tactics when voting, which run from paid picketers to brand attacks.

By requiring a federally supervised secret ballot election, employees could escape this pressure. Supporters of the bill said more than 79 percent of union households agree workers should have this right.

Currently, labor law also allows unions to use members’ dues for political activism, without obtaining prior approval from the workers they claim to represent. Exit polls from Edison Media Research obtained by The Heritage Foundation in 2012 demonstrated that 40 percent of union households voted Republican, yet 90 percent of union political support went to the Democratic Party and other liberal special interest groups.

And although 60 percent of union members object to their dues being used for political activism, the Heritage Foundation said they rarely receive a refund of their dues because unions often won’t honor this right until federal charges are filed.

Workers have a right to choose where their money goes. The ERA would ensure paycheck protection, requiring unions to obtain permission from employees before using their money for political purposes.

When the interests of unions and employees clash, the law currently allows unions to suppress the rights and voices of its members. The ERA provides the reforms that would change this and give power back to the workers.

To access the editorial, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

 To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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