M.C Sungaila in the Daily Journal: NLRB Expands Joint Employer Definition


The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday vastly expanded the definition of a joint employer, making it possible for companies who use temporary staffing agencies to be summoned to the bargaining table by the contracted-out employees.

The 3-2 decision, penned by NLRB Chairman Mark G. Pearce, breaks with 30 years of precedent and is retroactive. Browning-Ferris Industries Co., U.S. National Labor Relations Board, No. 32-RC-109684.

Previously companies were joint employers of subcontracted workers if and only if they met two conditions: they had the power to exercise control over the workers' terms and conditions of employment, and they chose to exercise that power...

Mary-Christine Sungaila, an appellate partner at Haynes and Boone LLP in Costa Mesa, successfully argued a sexual harassment case before the state Supreme Court that found franchisors not liable for the working conditions set by franchisees.

"The indirect impact of this is when one agency modernizes their standard, other bodies may look into modernizing their definitions as well," Sungaila said. "But when this is taken to district court to obtain an enforceable order, that court will also see the very strong dissent and make its own choice."

Excerpted from Daily Journal. To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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