Government Relations Update from National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

<span>Last week, NAW joined over 200 businesses and national, state, and local organizations (including DHI) in sending a letter to both the House and Senate supporting the bipartisan, bicameral Commonsense Reporting Act introduced by Rep. Diane Black (TN) and Sen. Mark Warner (VA). This bill will provide consumers with help during the annual...</span>

Healthcare 

Last week, NAW joined over 200 businesses and national, state, and local organizations (including DHI) in sending a letter to both the House and Senate supporting the bipartisan, bicameral Commonsense Reporting Act introduced by Rep. Diane Black (TN) and Sen. Mark Warner (VA). This bill will provide consumers with help during the annual health coverage open enrollment process, employers with relief from the burdensome reporting requirements, and Exchanges with an additional tool to verify tax credit and subsidy eligibility. Click here to read the letter of endorsement for S.1908, and click here to read the letter of endorsement for H.R. 3919.

The Department of Labor has issued the Association Health Plan (AHP) Final Rule to help millions of Americans obtain quality, affordable health coverage. NAW will continue to follow the three-step implementation of the Final Rule which will begin on Sept. 1, 2018. Click here to read the AHP Final Rule one-pager provided by the Department of Labor.

Labor – The National Labor Relations Board

The new GOP majority on the National Labor Relations Board  is systematically reversing the pro-labor actions of the Obama Board. One of the issues that has been front and center is the Obama Board’s reversal of the long-standing standard under which an employer could be considered a “joint employer” for purposes of union organizing, workplace violations, etc., only if that employer exercised “direct control” over the employees involved.

Under the Obama-Board’s standard, an employer would be considered a “joint employer” if it exercised only “indirect” control over the employees. This was widely referred to as the McDonalds issue, as the new standard would have made McDonalds a joint employer with its franchisees even though the corporation exercised very little control over the operations of the individual restaurants. But the standard impacts many industries, including wholesale distribution – for example, any company that hires workers through a staffing agency could be impacted.

The Trump-appointed majority on the NLRB has already tackled this issue with a couple of complicated votes, but the Chairman has announced his intention to clarify the joint employer standard through an official rulemaking in addition to adjudicating it through individual cases.  

Last week NAW joined about 20 allied trade associations and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace in filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board urging them to pursue an official rulemaking on the Joint Employer standard. Click here to read the petition. 

Labor – New Pro-union Legislation Introduced

Two new, radically pro-labor bills have been introduced in Congress. The Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate to Act, introduced by Senate Democratic Leadership members Chuck Schumer (NY) and Patty Murray (WA); and the Workplace Democracy Act, introduced by Socialist/Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders (VT). While both bills are blatantly pro-union, it is no surprise that the Sanders bill takes the more radical path, including again proposing a card-check system that would abolish secret ballots in union certification elections.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (which we help manage), NAW and our allied trade associations have sent letters to both houses of Congress laying out the flaws in the WDA and stating our unequivocal opposition. While we do not expect either of these bills will pass the GOP-controlled Senate, opposition to them at this early stage is important to set the stage for what could be a major legislative battle should the Democrats take control of Congress in November. Read the CDW Senate letter here, and the House letter here.

 

 

 

 

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