The Washington Post
Agency eyes ‘joint employer’ liability
A U.S. labor board on Tuesday moved to make it easier for workers and unions to hold companies liable for labor law violations by their franchisees and contractors, reviving an Obama-era standard heavily criticized by trade groups.
The proposed rule from the National Labor Relations Board would treat companies as “joint employers” when they have indirect control over working conditions such as scheduling, hiring and firing, and supervision.
Joint employment has been one of the most contentious labor issues for many U.S. businesses since the Obama administration, when the NLRB had adopted a similar standard that trade groups said was unworkable and would curb franchising.
A rule adopted during the Trump administration requires that companies have “direct and immediate” control over contract and franchise workers in order to be considered joint employers.
The new proposal would broadly affect industries such as manufacturing and construction that rely heavily on staffing agencies and contractors to provide workers, and franchises such as Mcdonald’s that are not typically involved in franchisees’ day-to-day workplace issues.