Washington, D.C. – The National Grocers Association (NGA), the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, filed comments with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on its proposed regulation, “Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status.” This proposed rule would greatly expand the current standard of what constitutes a “joint employer,” putting independent community grocers and cooperative and other small businesses at risk to legal uncertainty and increased litigation.
“As independent community grocers and wholesalers continue to face labor shortages and a workforce gap, such a regulation from the federal government would not only exacerbate these challenges but would expose them to increased liability and labor costs that are difficult to absorb in an industry with slim profit margins,” said John Richard, NGA senior manager, government relations & policy analysis.
Submitted within NGA’s comments were the following policy recommendations within its comments.
- The NLRB should release clear guidance on terms not defined in the NPRM.
- The NLRB should work with NGA to determine “routine components of a company-to-company contracts” in the grocery sector and provide safe harbor to independent grocers that contract within those components.
- The NLRB should provide a unique safe harbor for the contracts used to establish a cooperative business model.
NGA also joined comments filed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org.