Judge strikes down NLRB’s landmark ‘joint employer’ rule


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was all set to implement an important new rule last December that would stop companies from dodging labor law by using temp agencies and franchise structures. Under the new “joint employer” rule, whoever controls a worker’s essential terms of employment — including wages, benefits, and work schedules — would be considered an employer. That means they would have to recognize and bargain with the union representing those workers, and it means they’d be legally liable for unfair labor practices committed by management. 

But in November, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued in a federal district court in Eastern Texas to stop the rule. In light of the court challenge, NLRB held off implementing the rule. On March 8, J. Campbell Barker, a judge appointed by President Donald Trump in 2019, struck down down the rule.

“The District Court’s decision to vacate the Board’s rule is a disappointing setback, but is not the last word on our efforts to return our joint-employer standard to the common law principles that have been endorsed by other courts,” said NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran in a March 9 press statement.



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