Jolt For Business As NLRB Redefines "Joint Employer"
August 31, 2015
In its much anticipated Browning-Ferris ruling, the National Labor Relations Board has changed the employer-employee relationship for thousands of U.S. businesses. In doing so, it has departed from principles that have obtained for decades, write Ogletree Deakins attorneys Mark G. Kisicki and Elizabeth M. Townsend. Formerly, for a company to be considered a “joint employer,” it had to have direct and immediate control over terms and conditions at the workplace. But Browning-Ferris has established far broader criteria, which may be applied in a wide variety of business relationships, including parent-subsidiary, franchisor-franchisee, company-temporary labor or service provider, contractor-subcontractor “and, indeed, any company that contracts with another to perform work necessary to its operations,” the authors write. Moreover, because the NLRB said it was applying a common law test, there is the possibility that the new criteria could be applied by other government agencies, both state and federal.
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