November 09, 2023

Restaurant Law Center and Texas Restaurant Association Sue to Stop New Joint Employer Final Rule

Lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Restaurant Law Center and the Texas Restaurant Association joined a coalition of business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to sue the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over its new Joint Employer Standard. The lawsuit seeks to have the standard rescinded because the NLRB violated the National Labor Relations Act and acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the new rule.

The new Joint Employer Standard, released two weeks ago, drastically expands the scope of how joint employer status is determined, and increases the liability risks in the franchisor-franchisee relationship, as well as those of service providers and third-party companies.

As a result, a restaurant operator could be held jointly liable for labor violations committed by an entity with which they have a business relationship. This new standard also creates unnecessary hurdles for restaurant operators who are trying to understand what qualifies as joint employer status.

“The NLRB issued this new joint employer standard arbitrarily and capriciously just three years after codifying the 2020 standard,” said Angelo I. Amador, executive director of the Restaurant Law Center. “The new Joint Employer Standard is already raising a plethora of legal questions across the restaurant industry. While the National Restaurant Association attempts to educate operators on the vague, confusing, and sometimes contradictory new standards, the Restaurant Law Center will fight to restore the workable joint employer standard that has existed for nearly 30 years based on the direct and immediate control of employees.”

In addition to the Restaurant Law Center, the Texas Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other groups in the complaint include the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, International Franchise Association, Longview Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores, and the Texas Association of Business.

“The Texas Restaurant Association is grateful to partner with the Restaurant Law Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other leading business associations to challenge the deeply problematic joint employer rule,” said Emily Williams Knight Ed.D., president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “We’re also proud to be leading this fight right here in Texas because we believe the new rule is not only illegal, but also it would be devastating for thousands of local restaurants and their communities.”

The full complaint can be viewed here.

About the Restaurant Law Center 

The Restaurant Law Center (Law Center) is an independent public policy organization affiliated with the National Restaurant Association. It was established to enhance the industry’s voice in the judicial and regulatory arena. The Law Center works to protect and advance the restaurant industry and promote pro-business laws and regulations that allow restaurants to continue to grow, create jobs and contribute to a robust American economy. Find more information at

About the Texas Restaurant Association

Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) serves as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. As a leading business association, the TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of approximately 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the workforce development arm of the TRA, the Association proudly continues to protect, advance, and educate a growing industry as the TRA enters its 85th anniversary year.