Copyright: Rena Schild

This week NMHC/NAA sent a letter of support to the House Education and the Workforce Committee regarding legislation to overturn the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) joint employer rule. The Save Local Business Act would rectify the rule by restoring the requirement that employers must have direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment. Apartment firms should not be left liable for fines for employees of suppliers who violate Federal labor laws. The Committee approved the Save Local Business Act on October 4, sending it to the full House for consideration.


In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in its Browning-Ferris Industries of California decision significantly expanded the definition of joint employer. This decision could potentially make apartment firms liable for the actions of their subcontractors, suppliers, vendors and temporary staff.


Joint employer scenarios occur when the supervision of an employee’s activity is shared between two or more businesses. The NLRB ruled that it could impose joint employer liability when an entity has “indirect” control and “unexercised potential” of control over another entity’s employees. This is a significant change from three decades of business practices where entities were designated joint employers when both had “direct and immediate” control over “essential terms and conditions of employment.” 


NMHC/NAA have long supported rescinding his onerous standard and will continue to push for approval of this legislation in the House and Senate.