By Quin Hillyer at Liberty Headlines;

The Senate this summer should stop a nasty bureaucratic tussle, clarify and simplify rules for small business owners and workers alike, and promote community involvement by locally owned businesses, all by passing one straightforward, single-issue bill.

It’s a big fight about a seemingly small regulatory change, one which again entered federal court on June 14. Local franchise businesses, a particularly fertile field for minority entrepreneurs, are most obviously affected by the battle.

The Save Local Business Act, H.R. 3441, would reinstate the pre-Obama rules pertaining to something known as “joint employer” situations. Sponsored by Bradley Byrne, a conservative Republican U.S. representative from Alabama, it is also endorsed by minority groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, or SCLC, and welcomed by an analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute. It is a bill ripe for bipartisan accord.

The Obama rule expanded the definition of “employer” so that even if a business owner exercised “control” over an employee that is only “indirect,” the owner could be considered a “joint employer” for purposes of labor law — with all the complicated rules and requirements pertaining to employer-employee relations.

Consider restaurant franchises. Under the Obama standard, both a national burger chain and its local franchise could be on the hook for an employment dispute at a single outlet.

Or if a local business hires a builder for repairs, and the builder (not the local business) somehow violates a worker’s rights, then the local business could still be named in a complaint.

The blurring of lines, and the added liability for franchisers, makes the franchising model far less attractive. By discouraging the very practice of franchising, it retards entrepreneurship and job creation, de-emphasizes local management and community involvement, and hinders one of the most common routes for minorities to become business owners….

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