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Joint employer? Limit control over workers

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

If you want to avoid being considered a joint employer, limit the degree of control you exert. The less control over the worker you assume, the less likely you may be held liable for the direct employer’s legal mistakes.

Recent case: A group of engineers sued their employer for allegedly underpaid wages and overtime. They added as a defendant one of the companies that their employer contracted with for engineering services.

But that second defendant was able to persuade the court that it exercised minimal control over the engineers. It was not involved in paying them, kept no records, provided no equipment or training, didn’t interfere with how they did their jobs and didn't hire or fire.

The court found that the second defendant wasn't a joint employer. It was dismissed as a defendant. (Willis v. Enter. Drilling Fluids, Inc., No. 1:15-CV-000688, ED CA, 2016)

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