Podcast: NLRB's Landmark Joint Employer Ruling Has Big Implications

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

The National Labor Relations Board made big news with its August 27, 2015 Browning-Ferris ruling to expand the definition of joint employer. In its opinion, the NLRB said it will consider whether an employer has exercised control of workers indirectly (through a third party) or whether it has reserved the right to do so. However, many predict that the Board's pronouncement will lead to increased unionization efforts.

On this podcast, Jackson Lewis labor law attorney Howard Bloom of the firm's Boston office pulls no punches in discussing the implications. "The decision creates huge problems for the participants in a variety of business relationships, including contractor/contractee, franchisor/franchisee and other relationships," says Bloom.

Podcast: NLRB's Landmark Joint Employer Ruling Has Big Implications

September 21, 2015

The NLRB reasoned that its past standard had failed to keep pace with changes in the workplace, such as the increasing number of workers employed through temporary agencies and other contractors. But Bloom suggests the ruling will allow a joint employer relationship to exist even where the right to control is never exercised, and calls the NLRB's definition of control, "overbroad, impractical and ill-advised." He also suggests it could lead to layoffs that increase the unemployment rate.

Bloom says the result makes it markedly easier to find joint-employer status. He adds that other federal agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration may follow the NLRB's lead. Now an employer must look not only at direct control of workers, but indirect control as well, notes Bloom, who concludes that employers will have to carefully consider at their relationships with staffing agencies and whether they can make modifications to their business models.