Support Letter for H.R. 3441, the “Save Local Business Act”

By at 2 October, 2017, 1:18 pm

Entrepreneurship and the American Dream Need a Boost


Dear Member of the U.S. House of Representatives:

On behalf of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and our nationwide membership of more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country, I urge your full support and co-sponsorship of H.R. 3441, the “Save Local Business Act of 2017.” This important legislation is a needed fix to the careless overreach of the “joint employer” liability standard put into place by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in August 2015. The new standard threatens independent businesses and entrepreneurship across our nation.

The NLRB replaced the common sense and long-standing “direct and immediate control” standard on joint-employer liability with a vague and expansive “indirect” and “potential” control definition. Under the new standard, a joint employer is any business that exercises indirect, potential or even reserved control over the practices of another business and its employees. This standard puts many small businesses at risk to a joint employer finding under the currently vague test, exposing them to liability, new costs and loss of business control. Small business owners are alarmed by this indefinable standard, and many entrepreneurs who dream of franchising their business model have taken a time-out due to the ambiguity and uncertainty.

SBE Council member and entrepreneur-in-residence Kristie Arslan, owner of Popped! Republic, is looking to franchise her small business. But the joint employer standard is a barrier to those expansion plans: “We just felt we could not take the risk right now, until we got some certainty around joint employer and the impact that it would have on our business,” as Kristie noted at an event when the bipartisan H.R. 3441 was announced.

Congress can offer that certainty with H.R. 3441, as the legislation provides a simple solution by amending the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct and immediate” control over employees in order to be considered joint employers.

Government policies must enable more risk-taking in America. Recently, the Census Bureau reported that new business creation is still weak with 414,000 new startups in 2015 versus the pre-recession annual average of 524,000. SBE Council research has found a “gap” of 3.4 million missing businesses in America.

Our nation and economy need people to pursue their dream of starting a business! Sound government policies are fundamental to creating a supportive ecosystem for startups and H.R. 3441 is a critical piece of legislation that removes uncertainties and barriers hampering entrepreneurship and small business growth.

Please support and co-sponsor the “Save Local Business Act.” This bipartisan solution will help local economies and provide a much-needed spark for business creation across America. Thank you, in advance, for your support of small business.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

cc: Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce


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