AAHOA Board Member Jagruti Panwala Testifies Before Congress

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Director-at-Large brings voice of hoteliers to "joint employer" discussions on Capitol Hill

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The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) announced today that Female Director-at-Large Eastern Region, Jagruti Panwala, testified before the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions to bring the voice of hoteliers to the forefront on discussions regarding “joint employer” status.

“I am extremely alarmed by the radical decision of the NLRB’s general counsel to attempt to create joint employer status for franchisors. If this were to happen, I would essentially become an employee of the parent corporation and no longer be an entrepreneur,” Panwala said.

On July 29, 2014, the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board indicated that McDonald’s may be considered as a joint employer in labor complaints from workers who are employed by its franchisees. This may establish a dangerous precedent that could ultimately eliminate one of the most successful paths of small business ownership in the United States.

Panwala noted that assigning liability for employment decisions to the franchisor may cause franchisors to impose control over the daily operations of each business in an effort to mitigate against claims.

Franchising has allowed many Americans to achieve the American dream through owning their own businesses. Any ruling that effectively removes the contractually agreed to separation between franchisors and franchisees could destroy the entire franchise business model. AAHOA urges policymakers to expand economic opportunities by encouraging entrepreneurship and investment into small businesses.

Founded in 1989, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with more than 12,500 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own more than 20,000 properties amounting to more than 40 percent of all hotels in the United States and employ nearly 600,000 workers, accounting for nearly $10 billion in payroll annually.

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