joint-employment standard NLRB

The NLRB Marches Forward on Joint-Employment Standard

In a previous blog post, we wrote about the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., where the NLRB reversed its Obama-era change in evaluating joint-employment for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The NLRB’s return to the pre-Browning-Ferris joint-employment standard was hailed as a major win for employers.

The Hy-Brand decision was short lived – the NLRB vacated the decision only three months after its publication for an alleged conflict of interest due to Board Member Emanuel’s participation in the case. Emanuel’s former law firm had represented one of the companies in the original Browning-Ferris case. After Hy-Brand was vacated, the Obama-era change to joint employment in Browning-Ferris remained intact.

This procedural quagmire hasn’t steered the NLRB off course. NLRB Chairman Ring recently penned a letter declaring that the NLRB will move forward with rulemaking on this controversial joint-employer standard. As stated in his letter, Chairman Ring is of the opinion that Browning-Ferris has left employers and unions in the dark as to how to predict and plan for outcomes in specific cases. He believes that the NLRB’s rulemaking on this issue can clear-up uncertainty.

Stay tuned this summer for more information on this ever-evolving area of labor relations.