September 08, 2014 // Franchising.com // CARROLLTON, Texas – FASTSIGNS International Inc. CEO Catherine Monson and FASTSIGNS® Franchisee Clint Ehlers are heading to Washington, D.C. September 9 to testify before Congress to explain the potential threat to thousands of franchisees' businesses following the National Labor Relation Board's (NLRB) decision to pursue McDonald's® Corporation and its franchisees as a "joint employer."
Monson and Ehlers will appear before the congressional U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions to provide firsthand experience on how the recent ruling of the NLRB's General Counsel will negatively impact franchise businesses.
"If the NLRB's General Counsel's recommendation is adopted, franchisors and franchisees would be considered 'joint employers,' but that's not how the franchisor/franchisee relationship operates," Monson stated. "Franchisors establish general operational procedures and provide tools, tips and training, but they have no involvement or control over its franchisees' employment practices. Franchisees are independent business owners who hire, manage and pay their own employees, pay their own taxes and make many other day-to-day decisions on how to manage and run their businesses. If franchisors and franchisees are considered joint employers, the consequences could be devastating for both sides."
FASTSIGNS International Inc. is the worldwide franchisor of more than 560 FASTSIGNS sign, graphics and visual communications centers. Ehlers independently owns and operates the locations in Lancaster and Willow Grove, PA. He uses the FASTSIGNS brand name and its systems, but owns and manages his two locations, including employee hiring practices and wages.
"I bought a franchise so that I could fulfill my dream of owning my own business," explained Ehlers. "I benefit from the ability to hang the FASTSIGNS name on the outside of my building, but I make my own decisions on day-to-day operations, including the hiring, salary and benefits of my team. FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is a franchisor of the brand, not a joint employer for my business or any of the other 560-plus locations worldwide."
Monson and many franchisees will also be attending the International Franchise Association's (IFA) Public Affairs Conference September 16-17 in Washington, D.C. In addition to advocating on Capitol Hill, FASTSIGNS recently joined the Franchise Action Network (FAN) to unite with other pro-franchising voices to increase opportunity, create jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy.
"Franchising as a business model is under attack," added Monson. "The government is creating legislation and regulations to make it harder for independently owned and operated franchisees to achieve the American Dream. We need to come together to protect this time-tested, proven business model."
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the worldwide franchisor for the more than 560 FASTSIGNS® sign, graphic and visual communications centers in eight countries including the US (and Puerto Rico), Canada, England, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®). FASTSIGNS centers, which are independently owned and operated, provide comprehensive visual communications solutions to help customers of all sizes – across all industries – meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility through the use of signs, graphics, printing, promotional products and related marketing services. FASTSIGNS was ranked number one for three consecutive years in the sign and graphics category in the Entrepreneur Magazine annual Franchise 500®. For franchise information, contact Mark Jameson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-346-5679) or visit www.fastsigns.com.
Fishman Public Relations