The National Labor Relations Board’s new chair has signaled that the agency could revive an Obama-era standard for determining when companies are “joint employers” of franchise and contract workers once Democrats regain a majority on the five-member board.
Joint employment has been one of the most polarizing labor issues of the last decade, and replacing a broad test the NLRB created in 2015 with a more business-friendly standard was a top priority of franchisors and trade groups during the Trump administration. They got their wish when the board adopted a rule last year that wiped out the Obama-era decision, but only after a prolonged effort including an ethics row that forced the withdrawal of a 2017 ruling by appointees of former President Donald Trump.
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