Are you an employer whose employees also work for other corporate entities as well?
If you answer yes – then you’re probably what’s called a joint employer.
Joint employment is defined as the sharing of control and supervision of an employee’s activity among two or more businesses.
Unfortunately, there is currently no single federal definition of joint employment though there are some employment laws that define situations in which joint employment may occur.
Generally, there are two kinds of joint employment: horizontal and vertical.
- Horizontal joint employment applies when an individual has multiple employers. An example is when an employee splits time between two medical practices with separate corporate identities.
- Vertical joint employment applies when an individual works with your company through a temp or staffing agency.
At present, this vague federal definition of joint employment means that it’s easy for employers to be found liable for violations committed by their contractors or franchisees.
This fact may be about to change.
According to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair, John Ring, the NLRB plans to propose a rule this summer that will precisely define joint employer.
This proposed action follows what has been called one of the most controversial NLRB rulings in decades, the NLRB 2015 decision to expand the definition of joint employers. In this ruling, and contrary to previous board rulings on the topic, it was decided that direct control was no longer needed for an employer to be considered a joint employer. Indirect control or potential control, such as in a contract, could be enough. Needless to say, confusion reigned following this ruling.
What benefit might employers receive from a new rule?
Proponents hope the new rule will end confusion on this topic and bring some consistency and predictability for employers. What’s more – rules are more difficult to change than prior case law, which the NLRB can overturn in a single opinion.
If you are an employer in Connecticut and have questions about labor and employment law, contact the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale. Each of us has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of employment law and labor law and can help you with this complicated topic. Please contact us if we can help you.
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