Follow-Up on Today’s NLRB Ruling

In its daily “Sentences” newsletter, Vox has provided the following list of items on today’s NLRB ruling:

–The National Labor Relations Board ruled today that a business that uses a contractor to provide workers — but has control over hiring, firing and other HR decisions — can be considered a “joint employer” even if it doesn’t employ the workers directly. [Washington Post / Lydia DePillis]

–That means that if workers decide to form a union, they wouldn’t just negotiate with the direct employer — they’d negotiate with the bigger company as well.[New York Times / Noam Schieber]

–The ruling overturns a much more limited standard from the Reagan-era NLRB, which helped spur the rise of companies using intermediaries to provide workers — or hiring “independent contractors” rather than full employees, as many startups like Uber do. [Washington Post / Lydia DePillis]

–Here’s some background on the specific case the NLRB was considering, against a recycling company that hired a temporary staffing agency to provide workers. [Vox / Danielle Kurtzleben]

–From the NLRB’s press release: “With more than 2.87 million of the nation’s workers employed through temporary agencies in August 2014, the Board held that its previous joint employer standard has failed to keep pace with changes in the workplace and economic circumstances.” [National Labor Relations Board]

–Ultimately, the effects of this ruling could ripple way beyond that. This fall, the NLRB will hear a series of cases against McDonald’s, in which workers contend that McDonald’s should be treated as the employer, not just the individual franchises, so a McDonald’s-wide union could be possible. The new standard for “joint employer” status will apply. [Bloomberg / Josh Eidelson]



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