ATR, CWF Applaud NLRB on its Joint Employer Rule

Posted by Olivia Grady on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 at 1:47 pm - Permalink

On February 26, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its final rule on joint employer under the National Labor Relations Act. This final rule is a huge win for American workers and employers.

The final rule requires that a business possess and exercise “substantial direct and immediate control over one or more essential terms and conditions of employment of another employer’s employees” to be a joint employer.

This is in direct contrast to the expanded definition of joint employer that President Obama’s NLRB gave in its Browning-Ferris case. In that case, the NLRB ruled that a business could be a joint employer even if its control over another business’s employees was only “indirect, limited and routine, or contractually reserved but never exercised.” This 2015 decision meant that many more businesses qualified as joint employers.

If a business qualifies as a joint employer, it has to participate in collective bargaining if the employees are unionized. In addition, the business can be picketed, and the business can be held liable for the other business’s unfair labor practices. This designation as a joint employer, therefore, raises the cost for the business and hurts workers. In fact, the International Franchise Association estimates that the expanded definition has cost franchise businesses alone $33.3 billion per year and 376,000 job opportunities. In addition, it has led to 93% more lawsuits.

However, the Board under the Trump administration has not just restored this rule, it has helped American workers in other ways as well. The NLRB, for example, issued a number of terrific decisions at the end of last year.

For example, on December 12th, 2019, the NLRB approved McDonald’s settlement. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) began the litigation in 2015 when it claimed that McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois, Inc. and 29 franchisees had violated labor laws. However, the SEIU wanted to hold McDonald’s USA LLC also responsible for these alleged unfair labor practices as a joint employer. In a win for American workers and employers, the NLRB rejected the claim that McDonald’s USA LLC was a joint employer.

In Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a Valley Hospital Medical Center, the NLRB ruled on December 16th that employers are not required by law to deduct union dues from their employees’ paychecks after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. This decision overturns a 2015 NLRB decision under the Obama administration and restores a 1962 decision called Bethlehem Steel. The decision is a win for American workers who want to keep more of their paychecks.

In Caesars Entertainment d/b/a/ Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the NLRB ruled on December 17th that employers can restrict the use of their email system by employees during nonworking time as long as they don’t discriminate against union or “other protected concerted communications.” This ruling overturns a radical decision by the NLRB under the Obama administration and ensures that the property rights of employers are upheld.

Finally, the NLRB on December 13th announced changes to its representation case procedures. The NLRB extended the timeframe between the filing of a petition and the election, giving employees more time to understand the pros and cons of unionization. Under the Obama administration, the Board had significantly shortened this timeframe giving unions even more of an advantage during an election.

Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Worker Freedom thank NLRB Chairman John Ring and Board Members Marvin E. Kaplan and William J. Emanuel for strongly supporting American workers.