7 Implications of the National Labor Relation Board Ruling in the Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. Decision

The National Labor Relation’s Board decision regarding joint-employer status for workers formerly not classified as employees in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. includes numerous implications for employment law. Here are 7 potentially important ones:

1.    The Wage and Hour Division, and by extension, the FLSA, will likely look to this decision to expand who they charge in related employment violations.

2.    In the past, many employers have tried to distance themselves from workers, thus avoiding an employer-employee relationship and limiting overhead by hiring employees through a secondary agency. This ruling will curtail those behaviors.

3.    The Wage and Hour Division could begin ruling in favor of workers and independent contractors who were previously not categorized as employees.

4.    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will likely reassess its definition of indirect control over employees and broaden its stance, which could result in additional investigations and more lawsuits.

5.    The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will also tighten its oversight over companies without federal contracts as it pertains to joint-employer status.

6.    Litigation regarding joint employers as defined by ERISA will likely escalate.

7.    An employment lawsuit might name more companies or businesses as responsible parties.

Some industries could be more impacted by the ruling due to the types of business they run and their hiring processes. These include:

•    Contracting services, such maintenance, catering or janitorial services;

•    Sub-contractors, such as trucking companies for delivery or shipping;

•    Staffing or temporary agencies;

•    Franchisors and related contracts; and

•    Parent companies and their subsidiaries.

Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP has successfully represented restaurant workers and service workers in diverse industries in many nationally prominent wage and hour cases. Call us today at 1 (212) 688-5640, or email us at info@jhllp.com, to schedule a free intake evaluation.

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