Photo By: 
David Schott

Trump Issues Restrictive Joint Employer Rule

The new rule will only be relevant if it isn't needed

Brian Young's picture
Feb 27, 2020

For the past three years, the Trump appointees on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have been fighting to overturn the Obama era Joint Employer Rule. This rule held companies like McDonald’s accountable for actions that their franchisees took, such as failing to pay minimum wage or violating overtime laws. Now, Trump’s NLRB has released an amended Joint Employer Rule.

While the Republican board didn’t completely gut the rule, it did severely limit when a joint employer relationship exists. In the new rule, to be considered a joint employer both parties must possess and actually exercise control over the business and the staff.

Critics of the new joint employer law say that it creates a scenario in which the rule will never actually be in effect. For example for a company like McDonald’s to avoid being a joint employer, they would just not be allowed to run the day to day operations of a franchisee, something that they already don’t do. However, that CEO could always recommend franchisees pay workers a set wage or fire an employee and still not violate the rule.

"It is the most restrictive test the board has ever employed," former Democratic NLRB Member Wilma Liebman told Morning Shift. The change in the final rule "will only be relevant if it isn't needed," Liebman said. "It's kind of double talk."

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have announced that they will sue to stop the implementation of this new Joint-Employer Rule.

Sign up for our e-Newsletter!