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This Looming Regulatory Change Is Endangering Your Entrepreneurial Livelihood. Here's What You Can Do About It. Time is ticking for franchise owners and independent contractors. Learn why immediate action is crucial to protect your business from regulatory changes that threaten your operational freedom and economic stability.

By Kim Kavin

Key Takeaways

  • Franchise owners, solopreneurs and independent contractors are encouraged to proactively reach out to their lawmakers.
  • With significant policy changes on the horizon, your engagement can make a difference.
  • By mobilizing to encourage congressional support for the CRA, we are safeguarding the future of independent businesses.
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Attention, franchise owners, solopreneurs and independent contractors: It's time to call your lawmakers and insist on their vote to protect the way you earn a living.

Why? Because federal agencies are attempting regulatory workarounds to implement policies that Congress refused to enact — policies that threaten the right of franchises and independent contractors to continue operating our businesses as we do today.

Related: The NLRB's Joint Employer Rule Faces a Barrage of Challenges, Fueling a High-Stakes Battle Over the Future of Franchising

Dangerous 'Protecting the Right to Organize Act'

The background you need to know starts with a bill that moderate Democrats in the U.S. Senate joined with Republicans to block. That bill was called the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, and it contained language so dangerous for franchise owners and solopreneurs that Entrepreneur published its first-ever series of political advocacy articles in opposition to it.

I wrote that series, called the Campaign for Our Careers. It was an award-winning look at the two most dangerous provisions of the PRO Act for franchises and independent contractors: the joint-employer standard and the ABC Test.

Related: The New Joint Employer Rule Will Crush Franchising As We Know It. Here's What You Can Do to Protect Your Business.

Congressional Review Act (CRA)

Since the PRO Act couldn't get through the legislative branch of government, the Biden administration has been trying to use the executive branch to impose similar policy changes. We need every possible lawmaker to co-sponsor the use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn these executive-branch moves.

On the joint-employer language, the CRA would overturn changes to the joint-employer standard by the National Labor Relations Board. This CRA has already passed the House of Representatives — in a bipartisan 206-177 vote — but it's still awaiting action in the Senate. The International Franchise Agency urged lawmakers as of late February "to kill joint employer once and for all." More than 90 organizations have endorsed this CRA.

On the independent contractor language, the U.S. Department of Labor acknowledges in its new rule that there may be "conceptual overlap" with the ABC Test's most harmful section to independent contractors. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the "DOL's claim that the regulation does not reflect the ABC Test leaves something to be desired." The independent contractor CRA was introduced in the House and Senate in early March with more than 70 co-sponsors and needs more in both chambers to advance.

Federal lawsuits have been filed against both federal agencies, trying to stop these policy changes through the courts. But, given the snail's pace with which the wheels of justice can turn, it's important for Congress to act.

Related: This New Government Rule Threatens to Disrupt the $825 Billion U.S. Franchise System

Contact your representatives now

Of course, to get Congress to act, lawmakers need to hear from constituents. Call or email your member of the House of Representatives and your two senators. Ask them to co-sponsor using the Congressional Review Act to stop both the National Labor Relations Board joint-employer standard and the Labor Department's independent contractor rule.

To contact your member of the House of Representatives, go here.

To contact your state's two senators, go here.

Act now, without delay. Both these changes are scheduled to go into effect on March 11 unless the courts or Congress step in.

Kim Kavin is one of a half-dozen freelance writers and editors who have sued the U.S. Department of Labor in two separate lawsuits through Pacific Legal Foundation and The Beacon Center of Tennessee over the independent contractor rule.

Kim Kavin was an editorial staffer at newspapers and magazines for a decade before going full-time freelance in 2003. She has written for The Washington Post, NBC’s ThinkThe Hill and more about the need to protect independent contractor careers. She co-founded the grassroots, nonpartisan, self-funded group Fight For Freelancers.

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