CEI Praises NLRB Decision to Reverse Course on Harmful Joint Employer Liability


Today the National Labor Relations Board, in a 3-to-2 decision, overturned its Obama-era ruling in the board’s own case against waste management company Browning-Ferris Industries. The original case against Browning-Ferris represented an effort to vastly expand employer liability for businesses that have dealings with contractors and franchise businesses.

Competitive Enterprise Institute labor policy expert Trey Kovacs praised today’s ruling and urged Congress to do its part to fix this problem going forward:

The NLRB decision to overturn the Browning-Ferris ruling is a crucial victory for entrepreneurs and workers nationwide. The vague and expansive joint employer standard implemented by the Obama administration needlessly restricted business-to-business relationships, hindered worker opportunities and entrepreneurship, and exposed tens of thousands of employers to increased costs and liability.

Today’s ruling restores the common sense definition of joint employer. However, the onus is now on Congress to make sure it stays that way. Due to the nature of the NLRB, with the Executive branch choosing a majority of board members, bad policies are always around the corner absent a more permanent legislative fix. It is vital that labor relations law creates stability and certainty, and a statute that clearly defines a joint employer relationship would do just that. 

Today’s NLRB decision effectively restores the decades-old standard that businesses had successfully relied upon to build business-to-business relationships across countless industries.

CEI this year led a coalition of free market groups urging Congress to pass legislation to clarify this important area of labor law.

> View the NLRB ruling

> Joint Employer FAQ