As the individual state legislatures begin new sessions, efforts to address the new NLRB definition of a joint employer at the state level are front and center in Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia.  Senate Bill 422 in Wisconsin prohibits a franchisor being considered a joint employer with the franchisee unless the former agrees to the role in writing or exerts “control over the franchisee or the franchisee’s employee that is not customarily exercised . . .”  Virginia would amend the definition of “employee” in the Code of Virginia Definitions via House Bill 18, which provides that “neither a franchisee nor a franchisee’s employee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisee’s franchisor for any purpose,” absent any contrary agreements in the franchise agreement.  Similarly, Michigan is looking to clarify the joint employer standard in a number of proposals dealing with a host of Michigan statutes.  Senate 493 is but one example – it provides that a franchisee’s employee will not be an employee of the franchisor unless the franchisee and franchisor co-determine matters “governing the essential terms and conditions of the . . . employment”, and both “directly and immediately control matters relating to the employment relationship.”  Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee have already passed laws protecting franchisors within each of those states from being classified as joint employers.