The power of federal agencies continues to expand every day with more and more regulations being passed and implemented. With regulations flowing out of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one federal agency that hasn’t been spotlighted as much is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). But, don’t let their lack of publicity be misleading because the NLRB is currently waging a war against businesses. Now, the courts must decide on a costly regulation that could change the definition of the term “employee” forever. In August of 2015, by a vote of 3-2, the NLRB moved to hold the Houston-based waste management firm Browning-Ferris responsible for the treatment of contractors that were hired out of California through a staffing agency. The ruling declared Browning-Ferris should be considered a "joint employer" with Leadpoint Business Services, a Phoenix-based staffing agency. This decision ran contrary to decades-old precedent on what the traditional definition is for an employee. Many have warned that it could (and would) have implications for small and large businesses in the future.
Yesterday, folks from around the country enjoyed the Labor Day holiday by relaxing with their families at the end of long weekend. But while many people had the day off Monday, many businesses were still processing a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that could have a lasting negative impact on millions of jobs. On Thursday, August 27, the NLRB voted along party lines to expanded the liabilities of employers as “joint-employers” and changed decades of labor policy that will impact how many companies have do business and will likely lead to harmful consequences for many workers. According to the St. Louis Dispatch, “Previously, the NLRB had a direct-control standard, meaning that a company was a joint employer only if it actually gave orders to the workers or controlled their working conditions. Now, a company may be a joint employer even if it merely reserves the right to influence working conditions.” The case involved Houston-based waste management company Browning-Ferris Industries and whether or not they were responsible for contract staffing they utilized for a facility in California. The NLRB ruled that Browning-Ferris was responsible for the contract employees, and in doing so set forth a precedent going forward that will cause many businesses to rethink how they operate with regards to contract staffing and franchises. The 3-2 ruling is bad news for small businesses and franchisees.
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In a recent visit to a Washington Boeing plant, while touting their planes, President Obama asked Congress to continue to fund the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), the poster child for taxpayer-funded corporate welfare. The setting of the Boeing plant was no accident considering that Boeing has been a major recipient of Ex-Im Bank funds for years. This comes on the heels of the Obama-backed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) trying to stop Boeing from moving its plant to South Carolina and the expiration of a tax credit for jet sales.