Obama-Era Joint Employer Ruling Nixed by D.C. Appeals Court

The joint employment ruling issued by the Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been struck down by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on grounds that the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision failed to adequately define “indirect control.”

nlrb-joint-employer-issueThat decision, which the Trump NLRB has vowed to reverse and rewrite, said that, if a corporation or franchisor had even indirect control over the employment decisions of its affiliates or franchisees, then it would be responsible for those decisions as a joint employer. The ruling turned on its head the longstanding direct control standard, whereby the head company could be held liable only if it exercised direct policy- and decision-making.

The D.C. court did not, however, rule the indirect standard absolutely invalid, but sent it back to the NLRB for a more concise definition. The ruling was issued on a 2-1 vote by the court.

The current NLRB, as has been noted, does not agree with the indirect control definition and has already issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to restore the direct control standard.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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