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Business, employment lawyers react to Browning-Ferris decision

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The National Labor Relations Board’s Aug. 27 decision in Browning-Ferris, which redefined the concept of “joint employer,” sparked lots of buzz in the legal and business worlds. A sampling:

• “The decision will have a significant impact on businesses because for the first time in decades, the Board considered ‘indirect control’ to be the main factor in determining whether a joint employer relationship existed under the National Labor Relations Act.” — Michael J. Lotito, co-chair of the Littler Mendelson law firm’s Workplace Policy Institute

• The NLRB is “creating precedent for other governmental agencies—state and federal alike—to rewrite historical understandings of the employment relationship and apply them far beyond the board’s reach under the NLRA.” — Ogletree Deakins attorney Mark G. Kisicki, who represented Browning-Ferris before the board

• The Browning-Ferris decision “will subject employers to increased uncertainty, liability for workplaces that they don’t actually control, and ramped-up pressure tactics to ease union organizing.” — Glenn Spencer, vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Workforce Freedom Initiative

• “[P]rior board decisions that effectively made it easier for temporary workers to unionize did not demonstrably result in increased unionization of such workers.” — Stephen Dwyer, general counsel of the American Staffing Association, which represents temp agencies

• “Potentially, this NLRB ruling could extend to any business that uses a subcontractor or temp agency. Parent companies could be on the hook for subsidiaries and affiliates.” — Wall Street Journal editorial board

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