Gavel on book The InternationalFranchise Association (IFA) praised the new rule as a "return to asimple, clear, and thoughtful joint-employer standard."

The U.S. Labor Department under President Trump is changingcourse from the Obama administration and revising guidelines to determine joint-employerstatus under the Fair Labor Standards Act – "in order to promotecertainty for employers and employees, reduce litigation, promotegreater uniformity among court decisions and encourage innovationin the economy."

The nonbinding rule, which takes effect March 15, is intended togive more clarity when an entity can be considered a joint-employerthat could be sued for labor violations including requirements onminimum wage and overtime pay. The Labor Department's joint-employer status guidelines under Obamawere much more expansive, making it easier for workers to sue morethan one entity for labor violations, like for example, both theMcDonald's Corp. and separately owned franchises that ownMcDonald's restaurants.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.