Statement | Unions and Labor Standards

News from EPI New joint-employer rule strips workers of bargaining rights

Today, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced a final rule establishing a new joint-employer standard under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) that substantially narrows the set of circumstances whereby a firm can be found to be a joint employer. This rule enables firms to avoid responsibility and liability under the NLRA. Weakening the joint-employer standard has serious adverse consequences for working people, such as depriving workers of the ability to bargain with the employer contracting for their services through an intermediary, who in most cases is the employer with ultimate control over wages, hours, and working conditions. EPI estimates that workers will lose $1.3 billion in wages annually as a result of the rule.

In January, the Department of Labor announced its final rule on the joint-employer standard, substantially limiting shared liability for wage and hour violations and making it harder for workers to hold all parties who set their terms of employment accountable. Today’s rule is just another example of the Trump NLRB weakening workers’ rights by folding to corporate pressure. The U.S. Senate must follow the House of Representatives and pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to correct the Trump NLRB’s flawed rule.