As expected, the National Labor Relations Board has adopted a new standard for determining whether two employers are joint employers for purposes of collective bargaining. Browning-Ferris Industries of California, 362 NLRB No. 186 (August 27, 2015). In the 3-2 decision (Members Miscimarra and Johnson dissenting), the NLRB held:
We will no longer require that a joint employer not only possess the authority to control employees’ terms and conditions of employment, but also exercise that authority. Reserved authority to control terms and conditions of employment, even if not exercised, is clearly relevant to the joint-employment inquiry. . . . Nor will we require that, to be relevant to the joint-employer inquiry, a statutory employer’s control must be exercised directly and immediately. If otherwise sufficient, control exercised indirectly—such as through an intermediary—may establish joint-employer status.
The Board held that the decision applies retroactively. We will provide a more extensive analysis of this landmark decision shortly.