NLRB Vacates ‘Hy-Brand’ Decision, Leaving Stronger Joint-Employer Standard Intact

Following is a statement by Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project:

“Today’s order by the National Labor Relations Board vacating its decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. is the correct outcome. The order comes on the heels of the highly unusual finding by the Board’s inspector general that the participation of NLRB board member William Emanuel in the Hy-Brand decision violated ethical standards.

“Vacating Hy-Brand means that, for the time being at least, the Board’s decision outlining its standard for joint employment in the Browning-Ferris case stands. This development is important for two primary reasons: (1) workers in temp and staffing and other subcontracted jobs who seek to join together and bargain for better working conditions can do so; and (2) the NLRB is not above the law when it sets forth rules on how employers treat workers today.

“The Browning-Ferris decision simply stands for the unremarkable position that when companies decide to outsource portions of their workforce to staffing companies or other labor subcontractors, yet still retain control over the work, they remain accountable, along with their contractors, for labor protections.”

“The notion that companies empowered to control working conditions also must bear responsibility for them is what the long-standing legal concept of joint employment is all about. And this principle is more important now than ever before, with the realities of how businesses structure their employment relationships.


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