In a letter sent to the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee, the Ohio Chamber expressed their support and urged passage of HB 494. This legislation would further clarify that the employees of a franchisee will not be considered employees of a franchisor for the purposes of Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards, Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, or Income Tax laws.
HB 494 was introduced, in part, due to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), which upended 30 years of precedent and established an unworkable joint-employer standard that could have a devastating impact on the franchise business model.
While state law cannot overturn the NLRB decision—steps to achieve that are progressing at the federal level—HB 494 will prevent state agencies and regulators from extending the Browning-Ferris joint-employer standard when interpreting state laws here in Ohio.
Back in June, HB 494 passed the Ohio House by a margin of 69-24 with bipartisan support. Although there are only a few session dates scheduled for the remainder of this current General Assembly, it is our hope that this bill will move through the Senate quickly and then onto the governor for his signature.