NLRB Issues Final Rule to Expand Joint Employer Standard
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a final rule to expand the standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under the new standard, an entity may be considered a joint employer of a group of employees if each entity has an employment relationship with the employees and they share or codetermine one or more of the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment such as wages, benefits, compensation, hours of work and scheduling, assignment of duties, and other factors. This new standard applies whether or not such control is exercised, and without regard to whether any such exercise of control is direct or indirect.
For the purposes of collective bargaining, once an entity is deemed a joint employer by virtue of its control over one or more essential terms and conditions of employment, it will be required to bargain over those particular essential terms and conditions as well as all other mandatory subjects of bargaining that it possesses or exercises the authority to control. It will not be required to bargain over subjects that it does not have authority to control.
The final rule replaces the NLRB’s 2020 final rule under the Trump administration and will go into effect on Dec. 26, 2023. NLRB’s press release announcing the final rule is here and a fact sheet is here. The final rule is expected to receive legal challenges in the federal court system.
House Elects Mike Johnson as Speaker
The House of Representatives recently elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the next speaker following a three-week race for the position. Johnson has served in the House since 2017 and was previously the vice chair of the House Republican Conference. He received the votes of all 220 Republicans present to be elected speaker. With a new speaker installed, the House will now be able to resume its official business and vote on legislation.
Congress Averts Government Shutdown
Congress has passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government at existing levels through January and February. The bill funds the Food and Drug Administration, military construction, veterans benefits, transportation, housing, urban development, agriculture and energy and water programs through Jan. 19 and all other programs through Feb. 2. Congress will try to negotiate a longer-term funding bill in January.
EPA Proposes Ban on Trichloroethylene
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a proposal to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is used in cleaning and furniture care products, degreasers, brake cleaners, and tire repair sealants, and a variety of safer alternatives are readily available for many uses. This action, taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would protect people from health risks by banning the manufacture, processing, and distribution of TCE for all uses. EPA’s proposed risk management rule would take effect in one year for consumer products and most commercial uses and would implement stringent worker protections on the limited remaining commercial and industrial uses that would be phased down over a longer period.