NMHC/NAA on June 20 joined the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace to ask Senators to oppose legislation seeking to codify the joint employer rule and card check. The Workplace Democracy Act (WDA), which has been introduced in both the House and Senate, would, among other provisions:
Codify the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) Joint Employer Rule: The WDA would codify the NLRB’s joint employer ruling. Joint employer scenarios occur when the supervision of an employee’s activity is shared between two or more businesses. The NLRB’s joint employer ruling means that it can 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 applicable prior to its original 2015 ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California where entities were designated joint employers when both had “direct and immediate” control over “essential terms and conditions of employment. NMHC/NAA have long argued against because it would hold firms, including apartment firms, liable for fines if their subcontractors, suppliers, vendors and temporary staff violated Federal labor laws.
Implement Card Check: The WDA would replace private-ballot union elections with the card check process. This means employees would vote on union representation by signing or not signing authorization cards in front of union organizers and co-workers. NMHC/NAA share the concern that removing the private ballot process could subject employees to harassment and intimidation as they determine whether a union should represent their activities.
The WDA has little chance of seeing legislative action this Congress. However, having been introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), the measure is currently cosponsored by 16 Senators and 53 Representatives and could see action next year if party control of either congressional chambers switches to the Democratic party.
For more information about NMHC/NAA’s efforts regarding this topic, please visit our compensation and benefits advocacy landing page.