ACTION ALERT: Contact your U.S. Representative Today About the NLRB’s New “Joint Employer” Standards
In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its highly anticipated decision in Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) and created a new “joint employer” standard in federal labor law. The question before the NLRB was whether BFI and its staffing services company, Leadpoint, were joint employers of employees working at one of BFI’s facilities for purposes of a union election covering Leadpoint's employees.
The NLRB’s decision was that the two companies were joint employers, based on BFI’s “indirect” and “potential” contractual control of the Leadpoint employees. This marks a significant departure from the joint employer test that the Board has used for decades, which required that a joint employer actually exercise control over terms and conditions of employment, as opposed to merely having the ability to do so. The NLRB justified their decision by stating that the definition of employer should encompass as many employment relationships as possible in order to foster collective bargaining.
The BFI decision will have far-reaching impacts on employers throughout the United States, particularly in franchisee/franchisor relationships where, with limited exceptions, franchisors have historically been found NOT to be joint employers of their franchisees’ workers. Employers that meet the definition of joint employer under this new standard may face collective bargaining obligations and find themselves engaged in labor disputes between direct employers and labor organizations.
It is critical that President Obama and Congressional leaders respond to the potentially transformative BFI ruling and stop this government overreach into local businesses. Please contact your Representative and ask him or her to respond to this ruling.
A draft letter about the “joint employer” standard has already been written; please modify and send it to your legislator before the end of this week by clicking below:
Stop the NLRB’s new “joint employer” standards.