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Congressman Comer, Senator Marshall Introduce the Save Local Business Act

The legislation empowers small businesses and reduces overreach from unelected bureaucrats.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative James Comer (R-Ky.) and U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kansas) introduced the Save Local Business Act, which clarifies the joint employer standard to provide certainty for small business owners and workers across the country. In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has suffered under unelected bureaucrats that have dramatically expanded the definition of “joint employer” and implemented burdensome regulations for small businesses.

“Congress must promote policies that empower small businesses and free them from stifling regulations pushed by an unchecked and unelected federal bureaucracy,” said Congressman Comer. “Our bill, the Save Local Business Act, will add common sense to the definition of a joint employer, protect the franchise business model, and reduce bureaucratic headaches for American job creators. Now is the time for job growth and creation, not harmful and unclear regulations.”

“You can’t focus on running a business if the federal government keeps changing the rules. The Save Local Business Act provides long-overdue clarity and consistency that will protect our nation’s small businesses,” said Senator Marshall. “The Biden Administration’s Labor Department has relied on complicated court rulings to handle joint employers instead of providing clear guidance to the business community. In a time of economic hardship, we should be doing all that we can to help our nation's small businesses, not let the heavy hand of government regulations run amuck.”

The Save Local Business Act has already received resounding support, including from coalitions of employer and taxpayer industry groups who released letters of support for this legislation.

“More than any other policy, franchise businesses need the certainty of the Save Local Business Act. IFA applauds Congressman Comer and Senator Marshall for reintroducing the Save Local Business Act, a common-sense bill that, if enacted, will indeed save hundreds of thousands of franchise small businesses from regulatory overreach. As the misguided National Labor Relations Board prepares to finalize an unnecessary and harmful joint employer standard later this year, it is critical that Congress pass the Save Local Business Act to provide franchise brands and owners with a reasonable, clear and consistent standard of joint employer so they can continue growing and thriving,” said Michael Layman, Senior Vice President Government Relations & Public Affairs, International Franchise Association.

“NTU is proud to lead a coalition of twenty organizations in applauding Senator Roger Marshall and Chairman James Comer for introducing the Save Local Business Act of 2023. This important legislation will protect taxpayers and local small businesses from tumultuous uncertainty caused by National Labor Relations Board overreach. The commonsense bill ends the seesaw effect of changing NLRB majorities by codifying the traditional definition of joint employment. From inflation to staffing shortages to supply chain issues, the last thing that Main Street business and taxpayers need are stacks of legal bills from trying to figure out if they’re a joint employer and the Save Local Business Act will stop this legal uncertainty immediately,” said Nick Johns, Policy & Government Affairs Manager, National Taxpayers Union.

“The Save Local Business Act would combat destructive efforts to alter the long-standing joint employer standard and undermine the traditional business relationships between contractors and subcontractors. This legislation would ensure much-needed clarity, protect construction workers’ ability to own their own business and allow hundreds of thousands of small and local businesses throughout the country to continue to grow American jobs and help our economy thrive,” said Kristen Swearingen, Vice President of Legislative & Political Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors.   

You may click HERE to read the Save Local Business Act.


In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) placed itself in the middle of the employer-employee relationship, changing it in a way that hurt working families and small businesses but empowered union interests. Hiring, work schedules, and pay increases were no longer solely between an employer and an employee. This prompted a similar expansion of the joint employer standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). With these actions, the Obama administration and the NLRB discarded settled labor policy and blurred the lines of responsibility for decisions affecting the daily operations of local businesses across the country. The Department of Labor is now working to reinstate this harmful framework through a final rulemaking later this year.

Under the current administration’s most recently proposed definition, two or more employers can be considered joint employers for making a business agreement that “indirectly” or “potentially” impacts their employees’ day-to-day responsibilities and working environment. According to the International Franchise Association, the expanded joint employer standard cost franchise businesses $33 billion per year, resulted in 376,000 lost job opportunities, and led to 93% more lawsuits.

The Save Local Business Act:

  • Amends the National Labor Relations Act and the FLSA to clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers. 
  • Rolls back a convoluted joint employer scheme that threatens job creation and undermines the American Dream.
  • Restores a commonsense definition of employer to provide certainty and stability for workers and employers.

  • Protects workers and local employers from future overreach by unelected bureaucrats and activist judges.