WASHINGTON | January 28, 2019
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Senior Republican of the Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), have submitted public comments to Chairman John Ring of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during the Board’s open comment period for current rulemaking proceedings on the standard for determining joint employer status. The comment period, which closes today, solicited feedback from the public on the joint employer standard and its impacts on the workforce.
Reps. Foxx and Walberg lauded the Board’s continued efforts to overturn the Obama-era joint employer scheme that created uncertainty for job creators and employees. The December 21, 2018, letter read in part:
“For more than 30 years, businesses and workers alike had a clear and sensible standard to determine an appropriate joint-employer framework. Unfortunately, in 2015, the Board chose to discard that standard in favor of a vague and unworkable interpretation that is an affront to federal law and free-enterprise. Despite an improving economy flourishing under President Trump’s deregulatory agenda, the Obama NLRB’s joint-employer standard remains in place— impeding economic growth, undermining the spirit of local control and entrepreneurship, reducing job opportunities, and increasing consumer costs. We urge the Board to overturn the ambiguous indirect or potential control standard and replace it with a rule requiring substantial direct and immediate control over essential terms and conditions of employment in order for a business to be considered a joint employer. We appreciate the Board’s consideration of these comments.”
In supplemental comments submitted today addressing a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denying enforcement of the 2015 Obama NLRB’s Browning-Ferris decision, and subsequent comment letters from Chairman Scott (D-VA) and Rep. Pocan (D-WI), Ranking Member Foxx added:
“Efforts to undermine or delay the pending joint-employer rulemaking with presentations of faulty legal interpretations and expansive charges of ethics violations are merely attempts to undercut the authority of the NLRB to fulfill its mission. The Board is fully justified in creating a rule requiring substantial direct and immediate control of the essential terms and conditions of employment to prove joint-employer status, and I urge the Board to complete this process expeditiously.”
Background: For more than 30 years, the NLRB considered two or more employers “joint employers” only if they exercised “actual,” “direct,” and “immediate” control over essential terms and conditions of employment. In 2015, the NLRB overturned that standard in its Browning-Ferris Industries decision. Committee Republicans have worked hard on legislative solutions to restore the commonsense understanding of what constitutes a joint employer. Most recently, the Save Local Business Act passed the House in November 2017 with bipartisan support. The legislation would reestablish the “actual,” “direct,” and “immediate” control standard under federal law, and would protect businesses and employees from future overreach by unelected bureaucrats.
To read Reps. Foxx and Walberg’s letter to Chairman Ring, click here.
To read Rep. Foxx’s supplemental comments to Chairman Ring, click here.