The federal government and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are at it again. In 2015 NLRB issued a loosely defined “joint employer” rule which redefined the relationship between a corporate entity and its local owner. For instance, a person in Maine might “own” three Dunkin’ franchises, but the rule forces the owner to be reclassified as a Dunkin’ middle manager, working directly for Dunkin’ corporate instead of themselves.

This might seem absurd to Mainers reading this, and frankly the results of the rule going into effect in February may be equally as absurd. As noted previously, this is the third time the NLRB has tried such a rule. In 2015 a similar rule was implemented and then later rescinded in 2020. The NLRB felt compelled to overwrite that rule with a laundry list of circumstances under which one can now be considered a “joint employer.”

The result, however, is much clearer than the murky definitions the NLRB felt compelled to write. It will be devastating for Maine small businesses, the lifeblood of our economy. Retailers, restaurants, or anyone else operating under a franchise or corporate agreement will be impacted — roughly half of Maine businesses.

Sen. Susan Collins has stood with Mainers and cosponsored legislation in Congress to overturn the joint employer rule. Similarly, Sen. Angus King has expressed his opposition the NLRB’s initial rule. I appreciate our senators continuing to fight for Maine businesses and stop this devastating federal government overreach.


Owen Casas


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