View all Articles

The NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule Blocked 

A Texas district court judge has issued an injunction on the implementation of a rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This rule aimed to loosen the standards for determining joint-employer classification. Originally scheduled to take effect on March 11, the rule had implications for employers who contract workers from other companies or agencies whereby both the primary employer and the contracting employer would share responsibility for bargaining with unions representing jointly employed workers. They could also potentially be held liable for each other’s unfair labor practices and be subject to union actions during labor disputes.

The court ruled that the NLRB’s proposed rule was overly broad and violated federal labor laws by considering companies as joint employers even if they lacked meaningful control over working conditions. The new rule was intended to replace a previous standard, in effect since April 2020, which required direct and immediate control over essential terms and conditions of employment to establish joint employer status. 

It is important to note that joint employment occurs when two or more employers jointly share responsibility for the employment of a worker. This occurs when the employers share or codetermine crucial terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, benefits, hiring, firing, discipline, and supervision. 

Next Steps 

The NLRB is expected to appeal the court’s decision. Meanwhile, employers should stay informed about any further developments and consult legal counsel to understand their joint employer relationships and obligations in light of the current ruling. It is also crucial for employers to remain mindful of other federal laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which have their own rules and regulations regarding joint employment. Under the FLSA, employers can be jointly liable for the wages and hours of their employees as well as employees classified as joint employees of the employer and another entity. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.