Area business couple travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate

Maria and Ramon Rodriguez during their stay in Washington, D.C. (Photo submitted)

AMSTERDAM — Hagaman business owners Ramon and Maria Rodriguez traveled to Washington, D.C. to join franchisees and franchisors from across the nation in advocating for legislation introduced in Congress in July, 2017. The couple attended the International Franchise Association’s annual Franchise Action Network meeting Sept. 11 through 13, and then met with legislators of Congress to request their support for the Save Local Business Act, H.R. 3441. 

“This bill is crucial legislation for resolving serious problems the current joint employer standard presents for the franchise business model,” said Ramon Rodriguez, in a news release.

In August of 2015, a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, the independent government agency charged with enforcing labor laws, essentially changed the criteria for finding two companies jointly liable for employees.

“The NLRB’s position is that franchisors are joint employers of franchise employees,” said Ramon Ramon. “This puts the responsibility on the franchisor to manage, monitor and control activities of workers at all franchise locations, in order to prevent legal liability concerns. It takes away the rights of franchisees to independently run and operate their own businesses.” 

The Rodriguez’s see passage of the Save Local Business Act as a solution to the joint employer issue.

“It will provide much needed clarity for local businesses on what it means to be a joint employer,” said Maria Rodriguez. “As small business and franchise owners, it was empowering and encouraging to visit Capitol Hill–to make our voices heard.”

The Rodriguezes are the owners of Home Helpers & Direct Link of Amsterdam, a franchise, and Building Blocks Childcare & Learning Center, an independent business, both located in Hagaman.