ICYMI: Make The NLRB Less Great Again

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 3, 2017                                                                                                        202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Make The NLRB Less Great Again

July 3, 2017
Editorial
Washington Examiner

“Stop the presses! President Trump has nominated a second new commissioner to the National Labor Relations Board!”

Okay, yes, we jest. In reality, most Americans have probably never heard of the panel. They haven’t heard of William Emanuel or Marvin Kaplan — Trump’s appointees to the panel. They aren’t aware that this will give the panel its first Republican majority since 2009, and they probably haven’t even heard the acronym NLRB, let alone have the foggiest idea what it stands for.

But during the Obama years, the NLRB suddenly took on an outsized importance in Washington. It issued scads of economically crucial rulings, upending centuries of legal precedent on a cumulative basis, and leaving a lot of messes that Trump’s appointees must now clean up. One of the clear lessons of the Obama era is that this obscure panel possesses — or at least aspires to — far more power than it really ought to have.

The NLRB’s ostensible purpose is to promote labor peace by resolving disputes between workers, employers and unions so that they don’t need to clog the federal court dockets. But during the Obama era, the NLRB morphed into a crusading mini-legislature seeking to slow or reverse the natural demise of labor unions. It propagated many dubious rulings that overturned decades of established precedent. Over the objections of its Republican minority, the panel even attempted to establish new rules on employers never previously found guilty of unfair employment practices.

Many recent NLRB actions had to be overturned by the courts later, and some must still be overturned.

It now falls to Trump’s appointees to restore fairness and balance to labor law after eight years of overt, lawless favoritism toward union bosses.

Because it is such an obscure panel, many of the Obama NLRB’s abuses went under the radar. For example, you probably wouldn’t even know that last June, Obama’s NLRB even issued a ruling overturning an 80-year old Supreme Court precedent on when and for what reasons employers may permanently replace a striking employee. The specific issues of the case aside, Americans are simply not living under the rule of law if the NLRB, a creature of Congress, can just abruptly overturn long-established precedents of the highest court in the land.

The labor panel made a lot more news with its 2015 decision upending the entire franchise model of American business. This was done in the hopes of letting unions capture monopoly bargaining rights and dues money on a mass scale, rather than having to do the work of winning over employees for each individual local employer who operates a local McDonalds or Ace Hardware franchise. It is the local employer, after all, who hires, fires, and pays employees, yet the NLRB wants to give union bosses access to the bigger companies.

Obama’s NLRB introduced “quickie elections,” along with a requirement that employers hand over, on demand, the phone numbers and other private information of their employees to union organizers on two days’ notice. And it’s not enough for employers just to give them what they have in their database — they now have to check with every supervisor to see which workers’ private information they have. The sole purpose of this requirement is to help unions win organizing drives more frequently.

Obama’s NLRB has ruled that workers have a right to use their employers’ email systems for organizing. It tried to create a new rule forcing employers to prominently advertise unionization, even if they don’t want to. This latter rule was struck down by the courts, because federal law simply doesn’t give the NLRB authority to issue it.

And of course, let’s not forget that, in his haste to establish a quorum and provide unions with as much help as he possibly could, former President Barack Obama made recess appointments to the panel which were later ruled unconstitutional by a unanimous Supreme Court decision.

These are just a few examples of the mischief this little panel created during the Obama years. We urge Congress once again to curtail this panel’s authority immediately, before another union-crusading president takes power and tries to replicate Obama’s mischief. And we also hope the Senate will quickly confirm the new appointees so that they can steer the NLRB in a direction that is both more constructive and truer to the purpose of its existence.

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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ICYMI: Fully Staffed NLRB Means It Is Time To Restore Workplace Balance

WFI

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 3, 2017                                                                                                        202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Fully Staffed NLRB Means It Is Time To Restore Workplace Balance

Heather Greenaway
July 1, 2017
Townhall

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is charged with serving as the clearinghouse for workplace organizing elections, as well as managing disputes between employees, employers and labor unions.  The board’s purpose is not to undertake an activist agenda creating policy favoring one side over another; instead, operating as an arbiter of law as written.  Yet under President Barack Obama, the so-called independent agency became nothing more than a tool for Big Labor to write public policy, putting forward decision after decision that bolstered the interests of union bosses at the expense of America’s workers and businesses.  One reason for this outcome was the board was stacked with labor allies whose allegiance was to bosses and delivering payback for the millions spent electing and re-electing Obama.

As with many things in Washington, D.C., this has already changed markedly since the election of President Donald Trump, but there is much that remains to be done.  No longer is government trying to force nonsensical and burdensome rules onto employers; instead, it is putting smart, qualified people in charge of agencies and enacting policies that create conditions for greater hiring, wage increases and economic growth.

Within the NLRB itself, President Trump has worked to nominate qualified and experienced individuals, who will take an unbiased look at any case and make decisions based on the merits.  The recent board nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel are perfect examples as they will bring to the NLRB track records of working on labor issues over the course of their esteemed legal careers.  Kaplan’s experience as counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Emanuel’s decades of experience working in labor and employment law demonstrate each will bring a serious and measured approach to the board.

Coupled with the appointment of Philip Miscimarra as chairman of the NLRB, President Trump is clearly demonstrating that he is seeking to fix the failed policies of the last eight years.  He is showing that everyone deserves to have their voice heard, in addition to a seat at the table during workplace organizing efforts and any disputes that may result from them.

As the business community continues to adapt to the deluge of arbitrary rules and regulations issued by the previous administration, the new leadership in Washington must continue to send the message that they are committed to advancing a pro-jobs and pro-worker agenda.  A key aspect of this undertaking requires the board undoing previous decisions, such as the unnecessary and greatly expedited organizing election timetable as well as the policy giving union bosses the ability to organize small subsets of employees known as “micro-unions” when the traditional majority of workers oppose union representation.

With President Trump bringing balance to the board, and by extension American workplaces, the right kind of message is being sent across this country.  The time has come to set aside the divisive, biased, anti-worker and anti-business policies of the last eight years, and get to the hard work of getting Americans back on level footing in their places of occupation.  The Trump Administration has worked incredibly hard to identify and name a strong pair of nominees, but this undertaking is just beginning. And the next step in restoring balance to American workplaces can only be achieved with the swift confirmation of both of these incredibly qualified nominees by the U.S. Senate.

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 Applauds Approval Of Pro-Worker Legislation In U.S. House Committee

WFI

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams

June 29, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds Approval Of Pro-Worker Legislation In U.S. House Committee  

Bills Now Merit Expeditious Support In Full House Chamber

 Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce voting to approve several significant pieces of legislation, particularly the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776) and Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775):

“The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce deserves immense credit for standing up for workers and job creators in approving legislation that rolls back the National Labor Relations Board’s ambush election rule, as well as enacting safeguards for the personal information of employees.  The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act ensures workers will have sufficient time to receive and review information during labor organizing elections.  And the Employer Privacy Protection Act protects worker privacy by limiting information accessed by union organizers, while allowing employees to determine their preferred method of communication.  These important pieces of legislation benefit American employees and employers, and merit expeditious consideration by the full U.S. House.”

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 Trump Labor Board’s List

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 30, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Trump Labor Board’s List

Editorial
June 28, 2017
The Wall Street Journal

President Trump is finally filling out the National Labor Relations Board, and not a moment too soon. Repudiating the Obama NLRB’s radical rulings will take time, but Congress could lend a hand.

Last week Mr. Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan, counsel at the Occupational Safe and Health Review Commission, to one of two vacancies on the board. And this week the President rounded out the five-member board by naming William Emanuel, an employment lawyer at Littler Mendelson who helped challenge the Obama NLRB ruling that bars class-action waivers in arbitration agreements. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the board’s theory, and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

Both are well-qualified attorneys who will hew to statutory or case law. They are unlikely to get rolled by union-friendly staff who have sometimes been more knowledgable and influential than the board’s GOP members.

The nominations will give Republicans their first board majority in a decade, and there’s little time to waste. Some 360 cases are pending before the board, many of which present opportunities to correct recent board rulings that depart from longstanding precedent. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace last year estimated that the Obama NLRB overturned 4,559 years of established law.

One example is the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which created a new “indirect influence” joint-employer standard that has upended contractual relationships as well as the franchise business model. The ruling, which nullified three decades of board and judicial precedent, allows unions to drag companies into labor disputes with subcontractors and franchisees.

Also pivotal is the 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision that let unions form micro-bargaining units within a “community of interest” that shares job classifications, functions and skills, among other commonalities. This lets unions use a divide-and-conquer strategy to organize workplaces.

Last year the board melded Browning-Ferris and Specialty Healthcare by ruling that employer consent isn’t needed for bargaining units that combine jointly employed and solely employed workers. Other Obama NLRB departures include letting university teaching assistants unionize and letting workers defame their company on social media and keep their jobs.

Don’t forget how the Obama NLRB rigged union election rules to deny employers due process. One change restricted employers’ ability to dispute the eligibility of workers in a bargaining unit before an election. And an expedited election schedule limits employers’ opportunity to present their case to employees. While employers can contest the board’s decisions in court, President Obama packed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with liberal judges who are inclined to defer to the board’s judgment under the Chevron standard.

This is why it’s important for the GOP Congress to clarify ambiguities in the National Labor Relations Act that unions have exploited to give themselves organizing advantages that Congress never intended. For starters, Congress could codify the direct control joint-employer standard as well as union election procedures that protect employer and worker rights.

Legislation would protect the Trump NLRB’s decisions against legal challenges from the left while hemming in future Democratic majorities. Otherwise, employers will have to fight the same battles the next time a Democrat is elected to the White House.

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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ICYMI: Bipartisan Consensus Exists Around Undoing New Joint Employer Rule

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 22, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Bipartisan Consensus Exists Around Undoing New Joint Employer Rule

Heather Greenaway
June 21, 2017
InsideSources

Last November, Americans voted for change from the previous eight years. The economy was perceived to remain sluggish, wages stagnated and businesses felt squeezed by their own government. Among all the new government regulations and mandates that employers faced on multiple fronts, one of the worst anti-business offenders was the National Labor Relations Board.

President Obama’s NLRB was stacked with Big Labor allies and its decisions benefited them time and again. From rulings permitting micro unions — small, hand-selected groups of employee units — to permitting the disclosure of employee personal information to union organizers to expediting the election timeframe to ambush workers, Obama’s labor board took away worker freedoms and handed them to special interests in the labor movement.

One such decision was establishing the new joint employer standard, which turned the established franchise model on its head and changed decades of labor law. This standard, which was modified in 2015 by the Browning-Ferris ruling, marked a drastic change concerning business liability and workplace law violations.

Before 2015, the standard was that employers were responsible only for those employees whom they had direct authority over in the workplace. However, the new standard established a policy where liability was expanded to businesses that did not have direct purview over workplace employees.

This confusing and vague regulation had the potential to cripple small businesses, particularly franchises, as parent companies would now be faced with liability of their franchisee’s employees.

This confusion created a difficult business environment for many local employers, such as franchisees, raising questions whether investment was wise and sound. One factor that differentiates franchises is that they provide ready-made opportunities for entrepreneurs who can work with established brands and bring jobs and economic investment to a community.

According to a September 2016 study by the International Franchise Association, franchises generate $674 billion in economic impact and provide more than 7.6 million jobs. For such large economic drivers, it is important that the government create an environment encouraging growth and hiring, not burdensome and confusing regulations that impede increases in employment and market expansion.

That is why Republicans and Democrats alike have spoken out about the new joint employer standard. In an era where there are few examples of bipartisanship, elected officials on both sides of the aisle — such as Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Henry Cuellar of Texas and Jim Costa of California, and Republicans Dave Brat of Virginia, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey and Andy Barr of Kentucky — have come together to denounce this threat to local ownership.

They join many in the business community who were pleased to see that the Department of Labor recently announced that it was withdrawing its informal guidance on new joint employment standards. This important measure clarifies the law’s current interpretation and returns to the pre-2015 status in a welcome change, which demonstrates that the new administration is committed to working with employers, both big and small, to ensure that they are positioned to succeed.

While this progress should be heartening for American workers and businesses alike, more must be done to roll back the NLRB’s joint employer standard and other labor rulings by the Obama NLRB. The Labor Department’s decision on the new joint employer standard is welcomed as it shows there are policies that merit both Republican and Democratic consensus. But to be clear, more work needs to be done to make certain union leaders are not dictating our country’s labor policies and the interests of workers are placed above all else.

Heather Greenaway is a national 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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What They’re Saying About The Joint Employer Rule

What They’re Saying About The Joint Employer Rule
Democrats, Republicans, Business Groups & Editorial Boards Slam NLRB Policy

Congressional Democrats Have Spoken Out Against The Joint Employer Rule:

 Representative Collin Peterson Said The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Joint Employer Decision Was “Threatening Local Ownership By Unwinding The Very Existence Of The Franchise Model.” “Sadly, a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is threatening local ownership by unwinding the very existence of the franchise model.  Fortunately, there is a bipartisan solution to the new ‘joint employer’ standard that can protect small businesses before it’s too late.” (Representatives Rodney Davis & Collin Peterson, “Stopping The Corporate Takeover Of Main Street,” The Hill, 5/18/16)

  • Representative Peterson: “Make No Mistake, The Worst Victims Will Be Locally Owned Small Businesses.” “The impact of this decision could reach employers large and small in nearly every business in America but make no mistake, the worst victims will be locally owned small businesses.” (Representatives Rodney Davis & Collin Peterson, “Stopping The Corporate Takeover Of Main Street,” The Hill, 5/18/16)

Representative Jim Costa Signed A Letter That Called For A One-Year Hold On The NLRB’s Joint Employer Definition:

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 (MacArthur-Cuellar Letter, franchise.org, Accessed 6/12/17)

In 2016, Representative Henry Cuellar Pushed To Block The NLRB’s Joint Employer Ruling. “Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) June 21 said he has asked House appropriators to add language to an upcoming spending bill that would block the National Labor Relations Board’s recent joint employer ruling.” (Chris Opfer, “Democrat Pushes Rider To Block NLRB’s Joint Employer Ruling,” Bloomberg BNA, 6/22/16)

  • In A 2017 Op-Ed, Representatives Cuellar And MacArthur Called On Congressmen To Prevent The New Joint Employer Standard From Becoming Law. “We have heard from small business owners throughout our districts and the country who are concerned about the potential impact the joint employer rule will have on their business. Small business owners deserve better and we call on our colleagues from both parties to support them and prevent this harmful regulation from becoming law of the land.” (Representatives Tom MacArthur And Henry Cuellar, “Congress Must Stop Harmful NLRB Joint Employer Rule,” The Hill, 4/10/17)

Then-Representative Brad Ashford Supported “Blocking The Joint Employer Standard.” “Rep. Brad Ashford is a Nebraska Democrat who supports blocking the joint employer standard.  Ian Lee, a spokesman for Ashford, said the congressman believes a significant number of Democrats would be open to blocking it, too.  ‘Congressman Ashford has engaged in numerous informal conversations with colleagues on this issue and believes there is a universe of around 50 pro-small business Democrats that potentially would support this legislation,’ Lee said.” (Dave Jamieson, “Congress May Give A Big Christmas Gift To McDonald’s This Year,” The Huffington Post, 12/10/15)

Republican Members Of Congress Have Gone After The Joint Employer Rule As Well:

 Senator Lamar Alexander And Representative John Kline: “The NLRB’s New Joint Employer Standard Would Make Big Businesses Bigger And The Middle Class Smaller.” ‘“The NLRB’s new joint employer standard would make big businesses bigger and the middle class smaller by discouraging companies from franchising and contracting work to small businesses.’” (Tim Devaney, “Republicans Take Aim At NLRB’s ‘Joint Employer’ Ruling,” The Hill, 9/9/15)

  • The Two Said The Rule Would “Wreak Havoc On Families And Small Businesses Across The Country.” ‘“The board’s effort to redefine the idea of what it means to be an employer will wreak havoc on families and small businesses across the country.’” (Tim Devaney, “Republicans Take Aim At NLRB’s ‘Joint Employer’ Ruling,” The Hill, 9/9/15)

Senator Alexander Called The Decision “The Biggest Attack On The Opportunity For Small Businessmen And Women … To Make Their Way Into The Middle Class.”  “‘The NLRB’s joint-employer decision was the biggest attack on the opportunity for small businessmen and women in this country to make their way into the middle class that anyone has seen in a long time – threatening to destroy the American Dream for owners of the nation’s 780,000 franchise location – and that threat increased when the agency in charge of worker protections attempted implementing its own joint employer enforcement,’ said Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).” (Press Release, “Alexander: Secretary Acosta Begins Rollback Of Obama-Era Assault On Franchise Model, Restores Focus To Worker Protections,” U.S. Senate Committee On Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, 6/7/17)

Representative Tim Walberg: “Once Again The Administration Is Pushing Regulatory Policies That Will Harm The Workers And Job Creators They Claim They Want To Help.” ‘“Once again, the administration is pushing regulatory policies that will harm the workers and job creators they claim they want to help.  This is part of a larger effort that will threaten the livelihoods of small business owners and destroy opportunities for workers and entrepreneurs to succeed in today’s economy.’” (Press Release, “Walberg Statement On Labor Department’s Joint Employer ‘Guidance,’” Representative Tim Walberg, 1/20/16)

  • Representative Walberg On Joint Employer Standard: “Will Destroy Jobs And Make It Harder For Entrepreneurs And Small Businesses To Pursue The American Dream.” “It’s why the board endorsed a new joint employer standard that will destroy jobs and make it harder for entrepreneurs and small businesses to pursue the American dream.” (Hearing, U.S. House Of Representatives Education And The Workforce Committee, Representative Tim Walberg, 2/14/17)

Representative Virginia Foxx Called The Joint Employer Rule A “Flawed” Policy. “‘The committee has long led the fight against flawed policies that hurt working families and small businesses – including the fiduciary rule and joint-employer decision – and we remain committed to getting the job done.’” (Tyrone Richardson, “Congress Faces Uncertain Future Looking To Erase Some Of The Past,” Bloomberg BNA, 4/24/17)

Representative Bradley Byrne: “The New ‘Joint Employer’ Standard Directly Threatens The Livelihoods Of Thousands Of American Workers.” “The new ‘joint employer’ standard directly threatens the livelihoods of thousands of American workers – the very people who feel the government is leaving them behind.  According to FRANdata, an independent franchise-information firm, an estimated 600,000 American jobs, from more than 40,000 different businesses, could either be lost or not created within the franchise industry because of the joint employer ruling.  We should expect additional job losses in other parts of the American economy.” (Representative Bradley Byrne, “Congress Must Act Against New ‘Joint Employer’ Standard,” The Hill, 12/14/16)

  • Representative Byrne: “There May Be No Regulation That Threatens To Crush Small Businesses And Working People More.” “There may be no regulation that threatens to crush small businesses and working people more than a recent ruling from the National Labor Relations Board relating to the definition of a ‘joint employer.’” (Representative Bradley Byrne, “Congress Must Act Against New ‘Joint Employer’ Standard,” The Hill, 12/14/16)

Representative Tom Cole: “I’m Deeply Disturbed By The NLRB’s Review Of Its Current Joint Employer Standard.” “Finally, I’m deeply disturbed by the NLRB’s review of its current joint employer standard.  Recent complaints issued against McDonald’s for employment decisions, which are the sole responsibility of independent franchise owners, suggest that will come out of this review.  The trial bar must be thrilled because I can understand who else would benefit from this.” (Hearing, “Rep. Tom Cole Holds A Hearing On The National Labor Relations Board Budget For F.Y. 2016,” House Committee On Appropriations, Subcommittee On Labor, Health And Human Services, Education, And Related Agencies, 3/24/15)

Senator Johnny Isakson: “The Obama Administration’s Standard For Who Qualifies As A Joint Employer Essentially Made The Big Guys Bigger While Putting The Small Guys Out Of Business.” “The Obama administration’s standard for who qualifies as a joint employer essentially made the big guys bigger while putting the small guys out of business.  I applaud President Trump and his administration for returning the focus on how to create more opportunities for small businesses to grow.  I look forward to confirming the president’s full list of nominees to the National Labor Relations Board so that we can completely undo this misguided labor precedent.” (Press Release, “Isakson Hails Progress Toward Rollback Of Harmful Joint-Employer Ruling,” Senator Johnny Isakson, 6/7/17)

  • Senator Isakson: “Changing The Joint-Employer Standard Will Impede Franchising By Taking Away The Benefits Of A Small Entrepreneur.” “Changing the joint-employer standard will impede franchising by taking away the benefits of a small entrepreneur being able to start a small business and grow it using a brand name that was established by a major corporation. If you take away incentives for corporations to franchise, the results will be similar to what we have already seen in so many oversteps by the Obama administration and the NLRB: making the big guys bigger and putting the small guys out of business.  Instead, this administration should be focusing on how to create more opportunities for small businesses to grow.” (Press Release, “Legislation Will Roll Back Labor Decision That ‘Threatens To Steal The American Dream From Owners Of The Nation’s 780,000 Franchise Businesses And Millions Of Contractors,’” S. Senate HELP Committee, 9/9/15)

Senator Mike Lee On The Joint Employer Decision: “A Slew Of Partisan, Controversial And Disruptive Opinions.” “Announcing his measure Monday, Lee also cited the NLRB’s joint-employer decision, calling it one of ‘a slew of partisan, controversial and disruptive opinions.’” (Matthew Bultman, “GOP Senator Introduces Bill To Strip NLRB Powers,” Law 360, 9/29/15)

Coalitions And Organizations Have Also Been Vocal In Opposing The Standard:

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA): “Expanding The Joint Employer Status Would Collapse The Franchising Model And Extinguish Aspirations Of Business Ownership.” (AH&LA, www.ahla.com, Accessed 6/12/17)

The Coalition For A Democratic Workplace (CDW): “The Changes … Disrupted Decades Of Established Labor Law And Undermined The Relationships Between A Brand Company And Local Franchise Business Owners.” “The changes by the Obama Board disrupted decades of established labor law and undermined the relationships between a brand company and local franchise business owners, contractors and subcontractors, and businesses and suppliers and vendors – all of which have created millions of jobs and allowed hundreds of thousands of individuals to achieve the American Dream of owning their own small business.” (CDW, myprivateballot.com, Accessed 6/12/17)

  • CDW: “Reestablish The Previous Joint Employer Standard.” “A new Congress, President and NLRB must move immediately to reestablish the previous joint employer standard in order to protect vitally important business relationships that create jobs, strengthen the American economy, and provide avenues for the American Dream.” (CDW, com, Accessed 6/12/17)

NATSO: “Broadening The Standard Will Expose More Companies To Legal Liability For How Their Subcontractors, Staffing Agencies And Franchisees Treat Their Employees.” “Broadening the standard will expose more companies to legal liability for how their subcontractors, staffing agencies and franchisees treat their employees.  The ruling also makes businesses more susceptible to workforce unionization by imposing new collective bargaining obligations and allowing unions the ability to strike or picket a large corporate entity rather than the individual location where there is a dispute.” (NATSO, www.natso.com, Accessed 6/12/17)

In 2016, The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) Released A Report That Called For Congress To Defund The National Labor Relations Board’s Joint Employer Framework. “Competitive Enterprise Institute’s report called on Congress to defund the NLRB’s implementation of the new joint employer framework, which was established last year by a divided five-member NLRB panel in a case involving Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc.” (Vin Gurrieri, “Think Tank Says NLRB Joint Employer Rule Harmful To Biz,” Law 360, 8/3/16)

  • CEI’s Trey Kovacs Said The New Standard “Will Mean Greater Uncertainty And Exposure To Liability For Businesses Already Trying To Weather Tough Economic Times.” “Report author Trey Kovacs, a policy analyst at nonprofit CEI, said in a statement that the new joint employer rules ‘will mean greater uncertainty and exposure to liability for businesses already trying to weather tough economic times.’” (Vin Gurrieri, “Think Tank Says NLRB Joint Employer Rule Harmful To Biz,” Law 360, 8/3/16)

International Franchise Association (IFA) President Robert Cresanti Urged Lawmakers To Include Language In A Federal Spending Bill That Would End The New Standard. “‘We urge appropriators to include this language in the funding bills and end this government overreach and reject once and for all massive state of confusion and the politically-motivated re-alignment of traditional and well-established employment structure,’ stated Cresanti.” (Press Release, “Congressional Leaders Call For Delay Of Harmful New Joint Employer Standard,” IFA, 4/6/17)

  • IFA Also Said The Joint Employer Standard “Has Curtailed Job Creation By Franchise Business Owners And Other Small Businesses.” “The impact of the expansion of the joint employer standard has been the subject of extensive debate in the House and Senate, as it has curtailed job creation by franchise business owners and other small businesses due to the uncertainty created by the potentially limitless liability standard.” (Press Release, “IFA Applauds First Steps Taken To Roll Back Unlimited Joint Employer Standard,” IFA, 6/7/17)

National Federation Of Independent Businesses (NFIB): “Small Businesses Won’t Be Out Of The Woods” Until NLRB Ends Joint Employer Standard. “While the Secretary of Labor’s action today is progress, according to Duggan, small businesses won’t be out of the woods until the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reverses its controversial Browning-Ferris decision on joint employer or Congress acts to overturn it.” (Press Release, “Small Business Welcomes Decision To Withdraw Joint Employer,” NFIB, 6/7/17)

National Restaurant Association (NRA): “A Long-Held Standard For Determining The ‘Joint-Employer’ Status Of Franchisors And Franchisees Is Under Attack.” (NRA, www.restaurant.org, Accessed 6/12/17)

  • NRA Added The Board Was Moving To Undercut The Traditional Standard To Boost Labor Unions And Their Allies. “The National Labor Relations Board is moving to undercut the standard that has been the bedrock of the franchisor/franchisee model for the last three decades, in support of labor unions and their worker-center allies who are using this issue as part of a large effort to bolster union membership.” (NRA, restaurant.org, Accessed 6/12/17)

National Retail Federation (NRF) Called The Ruling An Example Of “Unelected Government Bureaucrats Creating Roadblocks In The Path Of Job Creation.” “The National Retail Federation (NRF) denounced the ruling as an instance of ‘unelected government bureaucrats creating roadblocks in the path of job creation.’” (Tim Devaney, “NLRB Rules Against Business In Pivotal Joint-Employer Decision,” The Hill, 8/27/15)

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Said Business Models Are Under Threat Because Of The NLRB’s Decision. “Despite their overwhelming successes, these business models are under threat.  On August 27, 2015, the Obama NLRB issued a decision in a case called Browning-Ferris that essentially rewrote the so-called ‘joint-employer’ standard.” (U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, “Protect Small Business Owners by Restoring Proper Definition of Joint Employer,” www.uschamber.com, Accessed 6/12/17)

  • S. Chamber: “Overturn Browning-Ferris And Return To The Prior Joint Employer Standard.” “Once the Trump administration has appointed new members, the NLRB should: Overturn Browning-Ferris and return to the prior joint employer standard.” (U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, “Protect Small Business Owners by Restoring Proper Definition of Joint Employer,” www.uschamber.com, Accessed 6/12/17)

Editorials Across The Country Slammed The NLRB’s Joint Employer Decision:

The Wall Street Journal: Joint Employer Decision “Sure To Harm Diverse Industries In Every State.” “[The NLRB] handed down a new joint-employer standard that radically rewrites U.S. labor law and upends thousands of business relationships … Labor unions are celebrating a decision sure to harm diverse industries in every state.” (Editorial, “NLRB’s Joint Employer Attack,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/15)

The Detroit News: “Joint Employer Rule Could Fundamentally Harm A Wide Range Of U.S. Businesses.” “Last week, the National Labor Relations Board gave unions a big win – even by the Obama administration’s labor-friendly standards.  While that’s good news for labor supporters, the so-called new joint employer rule could fundamentally harm a wide range of U.S. businesses.” (Editorial, “Our Editorial: NLRB Ruling Hits Entrepreneurs,” The Detroit News, 9/3/15)

The Orange County Register: Rulings Implications Are “Ominous.” “If this ruling stands, the implications for the fast-food business and other industries that rely on the franchise model will be ominous … There’s no compelling reason to upset the legal arrangements that have served franchised businesses well for decades.  What makes this decision even worse is that it emanated from an unelected agency accountable to no one.  This decision ought to be overturned on appeal – and Congress ought to severely constrain the powers of the NLRB, which increasingly operates as a rogue agency.” (Editorial, “Editorial: NLRB Out Of Control,” The Orange County Register, 8/17/14)

Las Vegas Review-Journal: NLRB “Has Declared War On Small Businesses.” “State and federal regulators have long recognized this separation between corporation and franchisee, but if a recent, baseless order from the National Labor Relations Board’s top prosecutor stands, that separation could disappear – and unions will get a huge boost in their long-running efforts to organize the fast-food industry and win a job-killing minimum wage increase … The NLRB, with President Barack Obama’s full support, has declared war on small businesses, including thousands of Nevada operations. Is there no limit to the economic harm this administration has caused?” (Editorial, “Editorial: NLRB’s Franchise Ruling Threatens Owners, Workers,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/5/14)

Charleston [WV] Gazette-Mail: “American Businesses Don’t Have Infinite Amounts Of Money To Pay Heavy Fines And Comply With Unnecessary Regulation.” “The National Labor Relations Board’s Democratic majority voted last week to radically rewrite labor law and expand joint employer liability – a move that affects thousands of small businesses, franchisees, temp agencies and subcontractors across the country … Thursday’s ruling throws previous policies out the window … Contrary to what Obama seems to think, the majority of American businesses don’t have infinite amounts of money to pay heavy fines and comply with unnecessary regulation.  Nor do they have the time, resources and manpower to spend when employees they only tangentially manage file grievances against their employer.” (Editorial, “Daily Mail Editorial: Labor Ruling Another Example Of Overreach,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, 9/1/15)

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ICYMI: It Is Time For Government To Protect Not Threaten American Workers

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 16, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

It Is Time For Government To Protect Not Threaten American Workers

Heather Greenaway
June 15, 2017
The Hill

To most observers, the past eight years have been a boon for Big Labor. During the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ran over the rights of employees and employers alike. Not only was the timeframe for a union election shortened to as few as 11 days with the ambush election decision, but a historic amount of personal information is now allowed to flow into the hands of union organizers, which has quite predictably led to employee harassment and intimidation.

Thankfully, there are two pieces of legislation that were recently introduced into the Congress that will help correct these workplace issues both caused by the NLRB.  The Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775) and Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776) will help give workers back their privacy and freedom to vote their conscience in fair union elections.

The NLRB’s decision to allow a significantly shorter timeframe for union elections tipped the scales toward labor organizers who were then able to quietly plan and secure support ambushing workers and businesses with an election.

This gave employers as few as 11 days to prepare their side, and present to their employees the pros and cons of unionization. With management in businesses – many of whom are small with dozens of employees – having such little time to prepare, their workers are not able to hear legitimate concerns that could materially impact their decision whether or not to support the formation of a collective bargaining unit.

Further, the NLRB’s ruling in 2011 in Specialty Healthcare allowing for the formation of so-called micro-unions was especially egregious.  Micro-unions are disruptive to workplaces, make it harder for employers to run their businesses and place immense pressure on workers.  Just as bad, the policy does not require labor organizers to win elections with the majority of the workforce favoring the formation of a collective bargaining unit; instead, union organizers are allowed to hand-pick and sort sub-groups of employees predisposed to be favorable to representation.

Beyond handing control over the labor organizing process to union bosses, the NLRB has overstepped its bounds by forcing employers to disclose large amounts of personal employee information to organizers. The NLRB is now mandating that employers take worker information, which was provided with an understanding it would be protected and used should notifications be warranted under circumstances such as a workplace emergencies, and send it to labor organizers, without ever needing employee approval.

While it is deeply troubling that our government is forcing employers to share personal information such as employee names, work schedules and locations, email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers, it has far more wide-ranging consequences.  By giving union organizers this information, the government is virtually sanctioning worker intimidation and harassment on the part of labor organizers who show up at homes seeking a signature for union authorization cards.

Taken together, H.R 2775 and H.R. 2776 would end the government overreach into workplaces hurting employees and tipping the scales in favor of union bosses. The Employee Privacy Protection Act would give employees the ability to control what private information is disclosed to unions and which method is preferred for communicating. The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would extend the amount of time that an organizing election could take place allowing all parties involved to present their side, while restoring the traditional standard regarding what constitutes a bargaining unit.

It is past time Congress show American workers they are on their side and these two bills are important steps in that direction.  Both demand expedited attention and passage in the U.S. House.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).

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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WFI LETTER: Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775) & Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776)

WFI

 

 

June 14, 2017

The Honorable Virginia Foxx
Chairwoman
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Robert C. Scott
Ranking Member
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775), Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776), Representation Fairness Restoration Act (H.R. 2629) and Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723)

Dear Chairman, Ranking Member & Members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce,

On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), an organization devoted to educating workers, their employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace, we write today in strong support of two recently introduced pieces of legislation: Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775) and Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776).

The Employer Privacy Protection Act assures worker privacy is protected, which has been put at risk by the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  We are very pleased that H.R. 2775 would enact safeguards for employees so that their personal information cannot be used improperly by union organizers.

As it stands now, labor organizers have access to far too much employee information, such as workers’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and work schedules and locations.  By allowing employees the ability to determine which contact information is shared by their employer and their preferred method of communication, this legislation will once again give workers the power over their personal information.

Further, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would roll back the NLRB’s decision in 2015 to codify ambush elections, which unnecessarily expedites labor elections affording workers as few as 11 days to determine whether to support or oppose a collective bargaining unit.

By protecting workers’ rights and setting the minimum time for labor elections at a reasonable 35 days, employees will have sufficient time to ask questions and receive answers concerning the union election process.  Additionally, employers are provided 14 days to prepare their case to an NLRB election representative, which also gives them the necessary time to appropriately engage concerning workplace organizing efforts.

H.R. 2776 also addresses the NLRB’s ruling in Specialty Healthcare, an egregious decision handed down in 2011 that allowed for the formation of so-called micro-unions.  Micro-unions are disruptive to workplaces and make it harder for employers to run their businesses, while allowing labor organizers to place immense pressure on workers.

For the record, the Workforce Fairness Institute would also like to raise the importance of several additional pieces of legislation, including the Representation Fairness Restoration Act and Employee Rights Act.

Specifically, the Representation Fairness Restoration Act would overturn the aforementioned micro-union decision requiring labor organizers to win elections with a majority of the workforce voting in favor of forming a collective bargaining unit.  Union organizers should not be allowed to hand-pick and sort sub-groups of employees more favorable to representation.  These allowances do not benefit workers and certainly don’t benefit our nation’s job creators.

The legislation discussed in this correspondence are necessary to give power back to workers after eight years of unilateral actions by an activist and biased NLRB working on behalf of Big Labor.  The scales in America’s workplaces have been grossly tipped in favor of union bosses, and against America’s workers and business owners.

We strongly support the Employee Privacy Protection Act and Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, and urge each bill receive a prompt vote from the members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Sincerely,

Heather Greenaway
Workforce Fairness Institute

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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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