November 13, 2017

U.S. House Passes MSCI-Supported Joint Employer Bill

On Tuesday, Nov. 6 on a 242-181 bipartisan vote, the U.S. House passed H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act.

This bill, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), reverses the National Labor Relations Board’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which made it easier to classify a business a joint employer and made businesses liable for any labor-law violations committed by a contractor or franchisee. As Politico explained, prior to Browning-Ferris, a business had to have “direct and immediate” control over the affected employees to be classified a joint employer. Browning-Ferris allowed a company to be held jointly liable even if it had indirect control.

MSCI supported passage of H.R. 3441 and before the vote signed onto a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace asking the House leaders to support passage of H.R. 3441. The letter said:

“In 2015, the NLRB issued its decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. (BFI), upending more than thirty years of bipartisan precedent. … The decision has created immense uncertainty and undermined the relationships between a brand company and local franchise business owners, contractors and subcontractors, and businesses and their 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. This unlimited joint employer liability standard will continue to harm businesses across our industries under multiple federal and state statutes until Congress enacts a permanent, legislative solution, and we strongly urge you to lend your support for H.R. 3441. Thank you for your attention to this important issue, and we look forward to working together towards a permanent fix.”

The Senate has not yet considered the legislation. Click here to learn more about Browning Ferris.