BrightStar Care Founder Shelly Sun Lobbies Congress to Overturn NLRB’s Joint-Employer Ruling

Leading Senior Care Franchisor Fights for Franchisees Rights to Remain Primary Decision Maker

CHICAGO--()--When it comes to the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) joint-employer ruling, there is a clear line drawn in the sand. On one side, those that believe the franchisor should be held liable for routine business decisions of individual franchisees and on the other, those that believe that this type of ruling could abolish the independent business model all together.

Those that oppose the ruling, including many franchisors that are advocating on behalf of small business owners, are encouraging a reconsideration of the regulation. Shelly Sun, co-founder and CEO of BrightStar Care, a national in-home care and medical staffing franchise, is at the forefront of franchisors that would like to see legislatures reconsider the decision, urging Congress to classify franchisees not as subsidiaries of larger franchise organizations but as the small, independent business owners they truly are. On August 27, the NLRB released its “joint employer” decision that could lead to franchisors being defined as a joint employer with their franchised locations.

“It hasn’t happened yet, but it is essential that franchisees and franchisors make our voices heard before a ruling against franchising as a joint employer model is allowed to occur,” said Sun. The NLRB viewpoint that has governed the successful franchise model for decades dictates that franchisors and franchisees are not joint employers and franchisees are solely responsible for setting the wages for employees and managing the day-to-day operations of their businesses. This should continue.

“The recent decision is not taking all of the factors into consideration if it was applied to the franchise business model and that is the way the NLRB is signaling that it may go,” says Sun. “NLRB overreach and new definition of joint employer applied to the franchising business model would mean that franchisees are no longer the decision makers which makes it harder for them to grow and prevents them from ultimately hiring more employees.”

If the ruling takes effect, the owners of franchised locations fear that they will be considered nothing more than salespeople or sub-contractors rather than small business owners. One small business owner that is bracing for the effects of this ruling is Matt Shriner who owns two BrightStar Care locations in Lafayette and Oakland, California. Shriner employs over 200 people but, if the NLRB proceeds as it has signaled to name franchisors and franchisees as joint employers, he will no longer have the power to make key decisions for his business such as the wages, benefits and work conditions of his employees.

“This ruling diminishes the value of hundreds of thousands of small business owners around the country,” says Shriner. “I have put my blood, sweat, tears and money into my own business and I am every bit the entrepreneur that anyone else is.”

As small business owners, Shriner and his fellow BrightStar Care franchisees value the stance Sun is taking on the matter. BrightStar Care franchisees invest in the system because of the support it offers, and they are seeing that firsthand from Sun’s support in her advocacy efforts. Shriner’s thoughts on Sun and BrightStar Care’s support can be viewed here:

BrightStar Care began franchising in 2005, and since then has grown to a $300 million company with more than 300 locations nationwide.

About BrightStar Care

Based in Chicago, BrightStar Care is a national private duty home care and medical staffing franchise with more than 300 locations that can provide medical and non-medical services to clients within their homes, as well as supplemental care staff to corporate clients. BrightStar Care professional nurses and caregivers deliver expert, compassionate, and personal care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each BrightStar Care location is required to pursue Joint Commission Accreditation. BrightStar Care received The Joint Commission’s Enterprise Champion for Quality award in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and is committed to having each of its agencies comply with Joint Commission standards. BrightStar Care uses the nationally known patient satisfaction survey company Press Ganey to measure client satisfaction and is proud that nine out of 10 clients would recommend BrightStar Care to a friend or family member. For more information on BrightStar Care please visit; to find out more about BrightStar Franchising, visit


Fishman Public Relations
Julianne Kennelly, 847-945-1300

Release Summary

When it comes to opposition of the NLRB joint-employer ruling, Shelly Sun, co-founder/CEO of BrightStar Care, is at the forefront of franchisors that would like to see legislatures reconsider.


Fishman Public Relations
Julianne Kennelly, 847-945-1300