This is an open letter written by 8th District Missouri Congressman Jason Smith to his constituents taken from his weekly newsletter.
America needs a healthy economy that puts folks in control and on the path to financial independence, but last week five unelected bureaucrats at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made a decision to set our economy back and hurt job growth. The NLRB, a federal agency that oversees the organization of labor unions, opted to change the way employees at franchises like McDonald’s, Colton’s Steakhouse, or Anytime Fitness are characterized. This decision will have a devastating effect on small businesses and job creators across the country.
The agency decided that employees no longer work for an individual franchised small business but are instead employed by the corporate brand. Previously, individual franchises had the autonomy to hire employees, set wages, and promote exceptional workers. Individual stores had the responsibility to meet standards for taste, cleanliness, or quality. Now, the NLRB’s decision makes the corporation liable for these responsibilities and removes any incentive to franchise their brand.
This decision is a thinly veiled attempt by President Obama’s NLRB to strip choice away from workers by trying to force them to unionize at the corporate level. It makes it more difficult to start and run a business, and needlessly hurts job creators that own the more than 780,000 franchises in America, and the nearly nine million people they employ. These decisions should be made by the employees in the communities where they work and at the individual franchise level just as was the precedent for more than 30 years.
This decision also means that folks hired by staffing agencies, contractors, and subcontractors, would be considered employees of the clients they work for, not the company that hired them and signs their paycheck.
I am calling on my colleagues to join me in blocking any funding for this decision so that we can keep job creators and employees in control, and let individuals decide what’s best. The NLRB’s reckless decision does nothing more than prevent hardworking people from staking their claim to the American Dream and financial independence.
Member of Congress