Bill clarifies joint employer standard to protect small and local businesses

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of hundreds of organizations representing millions of businesses that employ tens of millions of workers nationwide in nearly every industry, released the following statement today in response to Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) introducing legislation clarifying the definition of the joint employer standard. The bill serves to counter the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would expand the definition of the joint employer standard in a manner that business leaders say would cause confusion and harm millions of small businesses.

The following statement is attributable to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“Efforts by PRO Act advocates to redefine and expand the joint employer standard would disrupt millions of business operations throughout the country and threaten the ability of workers to achieve the American Dream of becoming employers.

“Labor bosses are pushing this expansion to boost union membership to pad their coffers at the expense of workers, small and local businesses, entrepreneurs and Main Street consumers. It’s part of the Big Labor playbook to force millions of American workers into a union against their will.

“The PRO Act’s expansion of the joint employer standard would also upend the entire franchise industry, putting hundreds of thousands of small, local businesses and millions of employees at risk. Small business owners would be turned into middle managers between their brands and union bosses, inhibiting existing owners from making a living and killing the dreams of budding entrepreneurs of owning their own business. Data shows that this provision of the PRO Act would cost the economy between $17.2 to $33.3 billion annually from lost economic output from the franchise industry alone.

“At a time when businesses are struggling to keep their doors open and employees retained during the COVID-19 pandemic, rewriting our nation’s labor laws solely to benefit Big Labor bosses would cause irreparable harm to our country’s economic recovery efforts.

“CDW thanks Senator Marshall and Representative Comer for introducing this critical legislation to ensure stability in the economy and help small and local businesses across the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We support the Save Local Business Act and urge Congress to act swiftly to pass it and reject the job-killing and business-shuttering PRO Act.”

Click here for more information on the negative impacts of the PRO Act.




About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.