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What exactly constitutes a joint employer under the National Labor Relations Act (NRLA) is at the top of the list of Labor Law developments from April, according to the law firm Jackson Lewis.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) still wants to return to its traditional definition of a joint employer despite a court ruling in December that said it can’t. In a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb stated his belief that the court exceeded its authority in December 2018 when it directed the board to fashion a joint-employer test consistent with common law joint-employment principles.

Robb wants a joint-employer standard that requires the two entities actually share or codetermine employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, and direction.

The outcome could impact thousands of franchises and staffing agencies.

In other labor law developments:

  • The NLRB found an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it failed to provide a union with financial information requested during bargaining.
  • The NLRB reversed precedent when it found an employer that became the lessor of a nursing facility violated the NLRA when it failed to recognize the union representing its predecessor’s employees.
  • The NLRB’s Division of Advice found an employer did not violate the NLRA when it asked HR representatives, instead of front-line managers, to respond to union communications.
  • At least some unions are placing #MeToo-related demands at the forefront in contract negotiations, proposing changes to employers’ codes of conduct and demanding stronger employer disciplinary action.

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