Blunt: Labor board ruling to hurt small-business franchise growth

After last week’s ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the Browning-Ferris case, declaring that two or more entities are joint employers of a single work force if those entities are both employers by law, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) released a statement on the decision, which contradicts legislation he authored earlier this year.

“The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed language I put forward that would prohibit federal funds from being used to implement this poor decision that takes away decision-making from a small-business owner,” Blunt said. “The NLRB ruling could do irreparable damage to the franchise model, which is overwhelmingly small-business owners who hire local employees.”

The NLRB handed down its 3-2 ruling involving Browning-Ferris Industries of California. In the decision, the NLRB redefined joint-employer status. Blunt, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, hosted an oversight hearing in May during which he challenged the chairman and general counsel of the NLRB on the joint-employer standard.

“The franchise business model, as much as any other, has helped more people join and rise up within the middle class,” Blunt said. “The person that runs the local franchisee, whether it’s a Hampton Inn, a Jiffy Lube or a Hardee’s, will have a hard time explaining to their employees or the local banker that they are not responsible for what happens in that local business. This ruling will stop job growth, economic growth, upward mobility and a path to owning a small business.”

Blunt has represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate since 2011. Born in Niangua, Missouri, in 1950, Blunt previously served in the House from 1997 to 2011. Blunt was educated at Southwest Baptist University and serves on the following committees: Appropriations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Intelligence; and Rules and Administration.