March 17, 2015 // Franchising.com // CARROLLTON, Texas – Taking a stand in support of the franchise industry, FASTSIGNS® franchisee Clint Ehlers will be a panelist at the March 20th U.S. Chamber of Commerce event, “The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Joint-Employer Standard: New Interpretations, New Liabilities and the Impact on Other Statutes.”
Ehlers independently owns and operates the FASTSIGNS locations in Lancaster and Willow Grove, PA. He previously took a stance against the ruling in an appearance on September 9, 2014, testifying before Congress against the “joint employer” decision, with Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. - the worldwide franchisor of more than 570 FASTSIGNS® sign, graphics and visual communications centers in nine countries.
As a pervasively critical issue within the franchise industry - among franchisors, franchisees and employees alike - the NLRB’s ruling on the Joint-Employment Standard will be addressed by Ehlers at the March 20th event, including the threat to locally-owned and operated franchise businesses across the nation that provide incredible value to communities by providing jobs, products/services and sales tax revenue.
Ehlers uses the FASTSIGNS brand name and its systems, but owns and manages his two locations, including employee hiring practices and wages. He said, “I bought a franchise so that I could fulfill my dream of owning my own business. 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 570-plus locations worldwide.”
The implications of the legislation being discussed have consequences that can fracture the very foundation of the franchise industry, an economic engine that is a key contributor to growth and production in the United Sates. In fact, the industry employs 11 percent of the workforce and is forecast to add 247,000 new jobs in 2015, a 2.9 percent increase over last year, with an economic output of $889 billion. To stifle the industry would have devastating effects on the U.S. economy. As the number of franchise establishments in the country is projected to grow by 1.6 percent in 2015, the franchise sector will contribute about 3 percent of the U.S. GDP this year. With industry operations under scrutiny, so is the productivity of one of the country’s most effective business sectors.
“Franchising is a proven business model that helps thousands of Americans achieve the dream of business ownership,” said Monson. “The issue at hand is the amount of influence that a franchisor has on a franchisee’s employees. Franchisors provide the brand, systems, training and marketing to the franchisee through a legal agreement. The franchisee is then responsible for the hiring, wage rate, methods and timing of payment, HR processes, discipline, supervision, promotion and direction of their employees.”
Contributing to the chamber event with Ehlers will be moderator Robert Cresanti, the IFA’s Executive Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy, and panelists Pratik Patel, Chairman of AAHOA, and Scott Womack, Womack Restaurants.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce event will be taking place on March 20, 2015 at the Lee Anderson Veterans Center from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST.
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the worldwide franchisor for the more than 570 FASTSIGNS® sign, graphic and visual communications centers in nine countries including the US (and Puerto Rico), Canada, England, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia, the UAE 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. The Franchise Research Institute has named FASTSIGNS a top sign and graphics franchise and has awarded the company certification as a 2015 World-Class Franchise for four consecutive years. FASTSIGNS was also recognized by USA Today, G.I. Jobs magazine and Franchise Business Review as one of the top franchises for military veterans. For more information about FASTSIGNS franchise programs, contact Mark Jameson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-346-5679) or visit http://www.fastsigns.com/.
Fishman Public Relations