Two is almost always better than one and the same holds true when working to pass state legislation. On May 3, Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia became the eighth U.S. governor to sign legislation making clear that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee or a franchisees' employees. Georgia Senate Bill 277 or the "Protecting Georgia Small Businesses Act", sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R-56), was the culmination of a joint effort between IFA and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.
With many overlapping members--all of whom share concerns over the nebulous joint employer standard being pushed by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.--teaming up to push back in Georgia was a natural fit. Working together, the IFA and AAHOA were able to successfully advance SB 277, which applies to state enforcement agencies. SB 277, excludes a franchisor as the employer of a franchisee or of an employee of a franchisee for purposes of certain laws relating to employment and was signed in the wake of a decision by the NLRB to change decades of federal labor law and legal precedent.
"Georgia has taken a critically important step to protect local franchise-business owners and their employees and ensure franchising continues to create millions of jobs across the country," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. "While the new federal joint employer standard threatens the future viability of the franchise model, we applaud state legislatures like Georgia for enacting laws that make clear that franchisees are responsible for their employees."
IFA and AAHOA have worked to educate lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and state capitals around the country about the profound, long-term impact of the joint employer rule on franchising. These efforts have yielded significant dividends to make the regulatory landscape more secure for franchise businesses.
Similar to successes in other states, local franchisees were instrumental in the effort, by speaking with and testifying before legislators in Atlanta. "The franchise system has given my family the opportunity to own and operate our own small business and providing our community with family-supporting jobs," said Manish Jariwala, an owner of a Country Inn & Suites in...