Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House passes anti-labor bill

The Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441) has passed the House of Representatives on a near party-line vote. The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to limit what is known as “joint employer” liability. If enacted, the bill would strip workers of their rights regarding unfair wage or labor practices under multiple employers.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate where, if passed and signed by President Donald Trump, it would reverse the current “Browning-Ferris” rule, which takes a broad definition of “joint employer.” Under the current definition, when two or more businesses share control over a worker’s term of employment (e.g., contractors, temp agencies, etc.), then both businesses may be considered employers of that worker and therefore liable for labor violations of worker-protection laws. Those businesses would still be liable even if they only exercised indirect control over that worker.

As written, H.R. 3441 cripples workers’ rights to bargain collectively when workers have joint employers; it opens a loophole for employers to avoid legal liability for wage theft, overtime labor violations, and even child labor violations; and it gives powerful franchisors (such as the corporate sides of McDonald’s, Hertz or ACE Hardware) a blank check to dictate small-business franchisees’ employment practices, while at the same time leaving franchisees on the hook for any violations.

Joining all House Republicans in supporting this bill were:

  • Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA 7th)
  • Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA 46th)
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA 16th)
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th)
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL 7th)
  • Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-52)
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN 7th)
  • Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR 5th)

NALC recommends that letter carriers in these districts, as well as those who live in districts represented by the Republicans who also voted for this measure, should stay in regular contact with their representatives to impress upon them how harmful such votes are to working Americans.

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