The US Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups have filed a lawsuit against the National Labor Relations Board over the ‘joint-employer’ rule it finalized late last month.

According to the coalition, the new rule is overly broad.

“The final rule will cripple small businesses in numerous sectors by exposing them to frivolous litigation, eliminating jobs and slowing wage growth across the country — just like it did when a similar standard was implemented in 2015,” the business coalition wrote. “At a time of continued economic uncertainty, it is alarming that the NLRB has chosen to move forward on such a divisive and damaging joint employer rule.”

The rule rescinds a 2020 rule issued by the NLRB under the Trump administration. The 2020 rule tended to favor employers, whereas the 2023 rule “considers the alleged joint employers’ authority to control essential terms and conditions of employment, whether or not such control is exercised, and without regard to whether any such exercise of control is direct or indirect,” according to the NLRB.

In a statement, Glenn Spencer, senior vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Employment Policy Division, said that the new rule “is the latest in a string of actions to promote unionization at all costs, even when harmful to workers, employers and our economy.”

The rule, he added, “defies common sense to say that businesses can be held liable for workers they don’t employ at workplaces they don’t own or control. The NLRB has been overturning numerous precedents at the behest of labor unions, so the Chamber is suing to rein in this out-of-control agency.”

Co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit are 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, Restaurant Law Center, Texas Association of Business and Texas Restaurant Association.

Sixty-two business associations, including the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, the American Seniors Housing Association and Argentum, also sent a letter to Congress last week urging legislators to support a Congressional Review Act resolution to nullify the joint-employer rule. The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).