Rule Jeopardizes American Dream

Washington, D.C. – March 17, 2016 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the nearly 2 million-employee lodging industry, today submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations to express concerns on National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris Industries decision that expands the definition of a “joint employer.” 

The hearing, entitled, “Risky Business: Effects of New Joint Employer Standards for Small Firms,” focused on the effect of the NLRB's new joint employer standard on small businesses. Mr. Vinay Patel, an industry supporter, Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) member and President and CEO Fairbrook Hotels in Chantilly, Virginia, testified as a small business owner on behalf of the hotel industry and shared his concerns on the profound impact this new standard could have on his business and thousands of other franchised hoteliers. 

Mr. Patel said, in part: “The NLRB’s new joint employer standard and subsequent cases before the Board have and will undoubtedly affect how independent business owners and operators interact with our employees and business partners. I fear the new standard will create conditions of liability unsustainable for franchisors and they will ultimately take control over the employment decisions and daily operations of franchised businesses.”

To echo Mr. Patel’s concerns, AH&LA also submitted a statement for the record. “The lodging industry is a valuable contributor to the local and national economy, creating well-paying jobs and career opportunities for millions of people. Hoteliers strive each day to make sure those opportunities continue to grow. We are concerned, however, that recent decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could jeopardize our employers and employees alike, particularly in relation to the franchised segment of the industry which constitutes upwards of 80 percent of the more than 53,000 lodging properties across the country,” the statement reads.

“As our economy slowly rebounds from the recession, Congress and the federal government should be promoting policies that foster and incentivize job growth, free enterprise, and a stable regulatory environment. Regrettably, the NLRB’s decision in BFI has done the opposite, creating unnecessary anxiety and trepidation within the small employer community. AH&LA strongly urges Congress to revert back to the previous joint employer standard which provided certainty and clarity for hundreds of thousands of small businesses for more than three decades as it relates to their workforce and their business to business contractual agreements.”

To read AH&LA’s full testimony, please click here. 

Witnesses included:  

  • Mr. Vinay Patel, President and CEO Fairbrook Hotels
    **Testifying on behalf of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association  
  • Mr. Danny Farrar, CEO and Founder, SoldierFit 
    **Testifying on behalf of the Coalition to Save Local Businesses  
  • Mr. Harris Freeman, Professor of Legal Research & Writing, Western New England School of Law  
  • Mr. Kurt Larkin, Partner Hunton & Williams LLP  



Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.9 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry of more than 53,000 properties generating $176 billion in annual sales from 5 million guestrooms.