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Labor Board to Review Controversial Joint-Employer Rule

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Late last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a request for comments on overhauling the current “joint-employer” scheme, aiming to recognize a less stringent application. The current joint-employer rule stems from an Obama Administration NLRB ruling in a case known as Browning-Ferris, which more closely ties infractions of franchisees to their franchisors. While the current Trump Administration’s NLRB had attempted to overturn Browning-Ferris late last year in a case dubbed Hy-Brand, the NLRB Inspector General earlier this year issued a report noting that NLRB member William J. Emanuel, a Trump Administration appointee, handled related cases at his previous law firm and therefore should have recused himself from the Hy-Brand decision. That development subsequently moved the other Board members to withdraw the ruling in Hy-Brand which overturned the Browning-Ferris ruling; thus reinstating the more stringent Browning-Ferris joint-employer standard.

Last week’s proposal attempts to reignite a circumvention of the Browning-Ferris ruling in favor of loosening the requirements for what constitutes a joint-employer. NRMCA has advocated ardently against the Browning-Ferris ruling and will continue to do so until the pre-Browning-Ferris joint-employer standard is reinstated. Click here to review the proposal. The NLRB will be accepting comments on the proposal through November 13, 2018.

For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at


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