IFA Launches New Labor & Workforce Hub for Franchisees
By Michael Layman
As IFA moves forward to protect the franchise business model from the NLRB’s regulatory overreach, the voice of franchisees in policy debates remains more important than ever. First-hand accounts from these small business owners have played a critical role in opposing many threats to the model in the past. In an effort to further engage franchisees, IFA has joined with labor law experts at Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute and ADP to launch the “Franchise Labor and Workforce Hub” (labor.franchise.org), a one-stop resource to help franchisees make sense of complex labor law requirements.
The Franchise Labor & Workforce Hub provides a number of resources designed specifically to help franchisees in the fight to preserve the franchise model. Aside from the latest legal developments on the joint employer issue, it also features materials that franchisees can distribute to their managers and supervisors to help them better understand their rights, responsibilities and legal restrictions in a number of scenarios. Recent protests have made it clear that labor groups view efforts to label franchisors and franchisees joint employers as part of a much larger effort to expand union membership. Among others, the website features pieces including Union Organizing 101, Prohibitions on Employers During Union Campaigns, and Key Excerpts from the National Labor Relations Act. Knowing your rights and duties in these situations could mean the difference between protecting your employees and facing years of expensive litigation.
Franchisors and franchisees are independent businesses, each playing to its own unique strengths to build a strong franchise network together. As protector of brand integrity, franchisors excel at establishing best practices, conducting market research and coordinating advertising campaigns. Franchisees, as owners of the individual franchise locations, are ideally suited to manage their establishment’s employment practices, including payroll, scheduling, and hiring. Given that franchisors are typically larger, they more often have the resources to employ independent government relations professionals, while franchisees are often forced to be their own advocates during policy debates. The Franchise Labor & Workforce Hub was created to provide these small business owners with the information they need to empower themselves and play an active role in ongoing opposition to joint employer changes.
IFA Senior Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Matt Haller urged all small business owners to visit the portal and better inform themselves on the issues affecting their businesses, saying:
“The franchise community covers a massive range of brands and industry categories, all of which are threatened by the National Labor Relations Board’s attempted redefinition of joint employer standards. Labor groups, facing declining membership and revenue, are increasingly aggressive in their attempt to unionize the employees of franchise locations. The Franchise Labor & Workforce Hub provides small business owners with the knowledge they need to better protect their businesses from these threats.”
As IFA and other leading business groups mobilize against any attempts to compromise the franchise relationship, it’s critical that the individual small business owners who make the franchise model such a success remain active in the debate.
Visit labor.franchise.org to learn more about the regulatory issues facing your business, and visit www.franchiseactionnetwork.com to join IFA’s grassroots efforts to preserve franchising.
Michael Layman is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the International Franchise Association.