Daily Labor Report®

Government Funding Bill Excludes Joint Employer Provision (1)

March 21, 2018, 2:38 PM; Updated: March 21, 2018, 3:21 PM

A large piece of legislation to fund the federal government will not include a provision that would reverse an NLRB ruling on expanded joint employer liability for affiliated businesses, sources told Bloomberg Law.

Congressional appropriators are putting finishing touches on the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, which is expected to be published sometime March 21. The package of bills funds the government through the end of the current fiscal year.

The legislation is expected to have some policy riders. The riders will not include a provision to block the 2015 National Labor Relations Board decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., according to Matt Haller, a senior vice president at the International Franchise Association.

“It’s clear Democrat leadership is complicit in the SEIU’s war on franchising that began in 2012, and will do anything they can to protect the interests of their largest campaign funders,” Haller said in a statement. “IFA greatly appreciates the concerns expressed by sensible voices in both Chambers by Republicans and dozens of moderate Democrats, but they were unfortunately drowned out by the Democratic leadership in this effort to provide clarity for small businesses on an existential threat to our business model.”

The NLRB decision held that multiple organizations can be considered joint employers if they exercise indirect control over workers.

Republicans and business advocates have argued that the NLRB overreached with its 2015 decision. Some Democrats have said the NLRB decision better reflects workplace realities, including often complex contractual relationships between workers and businesses.

There are other efforts to rescind the NLRB decision through the courts and legislative process.

That includes IFA and other groups urging the Senate to vote on the House-passed Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441), which would limit the extent to which affiliated businesses are considered joint employers for wage-and-hour and collective bargaining purposes.

The legislation Nov. 7 passed the House in a 242-181 vote, which included eight Democrats crossing the aisle in favor of the bill.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at trichardson@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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