In an article published online for Hotel Management on August 27, 2018, Constangy partner Sarah Hamilton and associate Matt Gurnick provided insight on recent changes impacting the joint-employment standard, and how hotel employers stand to benefit. Recently activity has hinted at more favorable conditions for employers in the coming months, including:
- NLRB Rulemaking: The NLRB announced in May that the board is considering rulemaking to clarify the joint-employer standard. Chairman John Ring expressed concern that the “current uncertainty…undermines the employers’ willingness to create jobs and expand business opportunities.”
- Proposed Legislation: The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Save Local Business” Act in November of 2017, attempting the reversal of the NLRB’s expansive joint-employer standard requiring employers to “provide certainty and stability for workers and employers.” The bill is before the U.S. Senate, though congressional gridlock may thwart the bill’s passage.
- McDonald’s v. NLRB Proposed Settlement: Following years of litigation, McDonald’s and the NLRB reached a proposed settlement in March 2018, stating that McDonald’s was a joint employer and liable for the illegal labor claims brought by fired McDonald’s workers who had been seeking improved working conditions, including minimum-wage protests. Under the settlement, McDonald’s admits no liability under the joint-employment theory, and the NLRB’s willingness to consider settlement is a boon to employers used to the previous aggressive stance on joint-employer violations.
“Businesses that operate in the franchise environments or with vendors offering temporary staffing services should keep close tabs on developments in this area during the coming months,” wrote Hamilton and Gurnick.
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