NFIB Defends Small Business Rights in Court

Date: February 17, 2021

Here are two cases where the Small Business Legal Center is acting as the voice of small businesses against onerous court decisions.

From coast to coast, from the U.S. Supreme Court all the way down, the NFIB Small Business Legal Center serves as the voice of small businesses in the courtroom. A single court decision can make or break a small business, so we fight hard to defend your rights. Here are two briefs recently filed by the NFIB Small Business Legal Center in cases important to small business, one before the U.S. Supreme Court and the other before the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez. On February 8th, NFIB filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the legality of damages class action lawsuits when the majority of the class suffered no actual injury, or an injury significantly less serious than what the class representative suffered.

The amicus brief argues that this decision incentivizes plaintiffs to make every case a statutory-damages class action lawsuit without needing to demonstrate that the represented class actually suffered injuries.

“Small business owners are the biggest victims of frivolous lawsuits, since they often cannot afford to defend a case brought against them,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “If the Supreme Court affirms the decision, that will open the floodgates for small businesses to be the target of statutory-damages lawsuits, like the one in this case, something small businesses simply cannot afford.” 

Brief filed with the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 12th, NFIB filed a brief defending the Department of Labor’s final rule updating and simplifying the standards that determine joint-employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

This rule change provided clarity for small business owners, reducing uncertainty and decreasing compliance costs. However, The District Court held that the rule change was “arbitrary and capricious,” a decision that NFIB is urging the court to reverse.

“Small business owners are the ones who suffer the most when government agencies continue to change the rules,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Now more than ever, small businesses depend on simple and dependable instructions from regulatory agencies. The Department heard the concerns of small business owners, made appropriate modifications, and issued a final rule. To change the joint-employer standard again would bring another unnecessary burden to small businesses when the Department issued the final rule fairly and legally.”

The brief provides examples of how the Department of Labor carefully considered the comments of hundreds of different organizations when considering the rule change, showing that it was neither arbitrary nor capricious.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center is the voice for small business in the nation’s courts and the legal resource for small business owners nationwide. Learn more here.

Take action: Make your voice heard on small business legal issues, share your story about the impact of federal regulations here.

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