WSJ: NLRB’s Joint Employer Attack

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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 29, 2015 | comments
The partisan National Labor Relations Board this week continued its radical campaign to transform America's workplaces by issuing a decision that redefines what its means to be an employer. Reps. John Kline (R-MN) and Phil Roe (R-TN) noted that the board's decision "set dangerous precedent" that will "threaten the livelihoods of men and women who achieved the dream of owning a small business and will make it even harder for others to pursue the same opportunity."

Today, the Wall Street Journal explains why labor unions are celebrating a decision that "upends thousands of business relationships": 

Ruining countless August vacations this week, the National Labor Relations Board’s Democratic majority handed down a new joint-employer standard that radically rewrites U.S. labor law and upends thousands of business relationships. The majority asserts that throwing out three decades of legal precedent is necessary “to encourage the practice and procedure of collective bargaining.” Labor unions are celebrating a decision sure to harm diverse industries in every state …
A major goal of the new rule is to pit corporate parents against their franchisees in collective bargaining. Last year NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin directed that McDonald’s be charged as a joint-employer in dozens of unfair labor practice complaints against franchises. Unions say corporations should be on the hook for their franchisees’ workers because computer systems can monitor sales and labor costs.
But under the new rule, there’s no limit on the number of parties that could be seated at the bargaining table. For example, West Coast tech companies such as Apple, eBay and Yahoo have contracted with the same private bus service, which the Teamsters have unionized. Would all these companies have to bargain individually with the Teamsters? What if they disagree? Could eBay’s labor agreement override Apple’s bus contract?
The majority dismisses the Republicans’ dissent as a “law-school-exam hypothetical of doomsday scenarios.” Perhaps the board had to pass the rule to find out what it does. Nor does the majority consider its economic implications. “It is not the goal of joint-employer law to guarantee the freedom of employers to insulate themselves from their legal responsibility to workers,” the majority writes …

To read more, click here.

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