The National Labor Relations Board is considering changes to its definition of what constitutes a “joint employer,” reports the Wall Street Journal. The move could impact millions of temp and freelance workers.
The reconsideration is spurred by two cases. The first one involves McDonald’s and its franchisees, which were charged with violating the rights of certain workers. The NRLB agreed with some of the complaints and ruled that the corporation should be considered a “joint employer” in the case. The ruling means that McDonald’s, along with its franchises, would be subjected to legal actions the agency plans to file. The second case involves a California waste management company that employs contract workers through an Arizona-based temp agency. A Teamster union has asked the NRLB to consider the California firm to be deemed a “joint employer,” which requires the company to be part of contract and wage negotiations for those workers.
Opponents say a change in definition would have huge impact on all kinds of businesses; it’s been estimated that 3 million contract and temp workers are used in the US economy weekly. Unions say Big Business is inflating the potential impact.
Melanie Trottman, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal who’s been following the story