loader
Page is loading...
generic_insight_detail

Action! House Passes Legislation to Stave Off Broadening Definition of Joint Employment


Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took another step forward on Nov. 8. The House of Representatives passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into law, the bill would revert to the NLRB’s prior, more employer-friendly joint employer standard. The “joint employment” doctrine often is used by federal agencies to impose liability on two or more companies with respect to a group of employees, such as a staffing company and its client or a franchisor and franchisee. For example, the NLRB can use the doctrine to impose liability for violations of the NLRA on multiple companies, and the agency has been at the forefront of changes to how joint employment is evaluated. The board’s now infamous Browning-Ferris decision in August 2015 significantly altered its standard for evaluating joint employment. In that case, the NLRB stated it will no longer require that a company actually exercise control over a workforce’s terms and conditions of employment in order to be deemed a joint employer; rather, “reserved” or “indirect” (i.e., potential) control is sufficient. This caused much concern among employers using contingent workforces and those under franchise business models, as it has made it easier for the NLRB to find companies in those contexts to be joint employers. Accordingly, Congress has been evaluating whether to act to reverse that NLRB finding. A finding of joint employment can have significant consequences for companies under the NLRA. From a practical perspective, each company found to be a joint employer by the NLRB may have an obligation to bargain with a union over terms and conditions of employment of the employees at issue and also may be held liable for the unfair labor practices of their co-employers. That is, companies not only need to account for their own compliance with the NLRA, they must also attempt to ensure compliance by any company with whom they are determined to be a joint employer. We’ll see if the Senate passes it as well, which would allow it to make it to the president’s desk.


LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

RELATED ARTICLES

NLRB Again Extends Comment Period For Impending Joint-Employer Rule

December 17, 2018 | Labor Relations, national-labor-relations-board

NLRB Announces Strategic Plan For 2019 to 2022

December 13, 2018 | Labor Relations, national-labor-relations-board

NLRB GC Action May Make Unions More Accountable To Their Members

October 26, 2018 | national-labor-relations-board

Reckless Driving: Employee Discharge For Antics On Public Highway Upheld

October 5, 2018 | strikes-and-picketing, unions-and-union-membership

Subscribe

Do you want to receive more valuable insights directly in your inbox? Visit our subscription center and let us know what you're interested in learning more about.

View Subscription Center
Trending Connect
We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to use cookies.