House Passes Joint Employer Legislation

Patrick Brady By Patrick Brady November 10, 2017

On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act, by a bipartisan vote of 242-181. Eight Democrats voted in support of the SHRM-supported legislation, which is uncommon in this hyper-partisan environment facing Congress, especially on issues related to labor and management relations.

Democratic affiliated groups like Third Way, a strategic partner of SHRM, described how employees and businesses both win under a "direct control" standard for the joint employer definition. Third Way highlighted the negative impact that an "indirect control" standard would have on the health care, technology, education and manufacturing industries that all identified a skills gap. They argue, "Businesses need to know with certainty that they can offer skills training without running afoul of liability laws."    

During the floor debate, Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Chairman of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee, sponsor of the legislation and former SHRM member, reminded his colleagues that this legislation does not change a single employee protection. Stating, "Let me make something crystal clear: This bill does not remove a single protection for today's workforce."

As mentioned in a previous HR Issues Update article on this legislation, the long-term prospects for favorable consideration of this legislation in the Senate remains uncertain given the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a legislative filibuster.

To learn more about how this legislation will impact HR professionals, please refer to a recent article on the legislation by SHRM's Editorial team. 


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