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National Restaurant Association - Joint Employer

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Joint Employer

Case: Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board et al.

Status: Pending, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Issue: We strongly oppose efforts by the National Labor Relations Board to rewrite the joint-employer standard that has enabled a climate of business growth and investment for decades.

  • In August 2015, the NLRB ruled in a split 3-2 decision that Browning-Ferris Industries could be considered ajoint employer of a staffing firm’s employees because Browning-Ferris had indirect and potential control of employees.
  • This reversed nearly 30 years of labor law, which held that an employer needed to have actual or direct control over employees. The previous standard protected businesses from liability for employees over whom they have no actual or direct control.
  • In adopting the new indirect-control standard, the NLRB makes employers potentially liable for employees they do not employ. Browning-Ferris has appealed the decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • We filed an amicus brief in the case in June 2016, and Browning-Ferris filed its final brief in November 2016. The company argues that the new joint employer test “creates an amorphous, unworkable fog” for employers. No hearing date has been set.



Case: CNN America Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board et al.

Status: Pending, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Issue: We filed an amicus brief in 2016 in a joint-employer case now pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The National Labor Relations Board found that CNN America Inc. was a joint employer with a subcontractor and is urging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to order CNN to rehire or pay back wages to union workers fired by the subcontractor when CNN cancelled the contract. Oral arguments are scheduled for Feb. 23, 2017.


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