While Washington Waits, State AGs Voice Opposition to New ‘Joint Employer’ Definition


Many labor experts anticipate the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue a decision by the end of August in the long-awaited Browning Ferris Industries case. In Browning Ferris, the Board is expected to completely upend the long-established ‘joint employer’ standard and replace it with an amorphous “direct, indirect and potential control” test that would create uncertainty in business contracts for franchises, independent contractors, and subcontractors.

While those in the business community are forced to wait on the decision of unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB, six State Attorneys General (AGs) decided to take action and voice their opposition to a new ‘joint employer’ standard in a letter to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce.   In the letter, the AGs note the detrimental impact that a new standard, such as the one proposed by NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin, would have on the economy:

“We are very concerned with the impact this would have on our states as we attempt to attract new businesses and create new jobs. Overturning a standard that has been in place and worked for more than 30 years will harm our businesses and lead to fewer jobs. We urge you to leave the existing joint-employer standard unchanged.”

The letter is yet another example of elected officials taking a stand against the hyperactive NLRB and its attempts to drastically change established precedent in favor of labor bosses and special interests.  As the Coalition to Save Local Businesses continues to host educational roundtables with elected officials throughout the country, these letters serve as a testament to the efforts that the CSLB has made in finding political allies at all levels of government to prevent overreach by the NLRB.

The Attorneys General that signed the letter include Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel, Michigan AG Bill Schuette, Nevada AG Adam Laxalt, South Carolina AG Alan Wilson, Colorado AG Cynthia Coffman and Utah AG Sean Reyes.  To view the letter in its entirety, click here.

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