NMHC/NAA is working as a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace to urge Congress to legislatively overturn the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) joint employer standard that could potentially make apartment firms liable for the actions of their subcontractors, suppliers, vendors and temporary staff.
In mid-February, the industry signed on to a joint letter expressing concern with the NLRB’s August 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries ruling that significantly expanded the definition of a joint employer.
Joint employers 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 the status quo of the last 30 years when entities were designated
joint employers when both had “direct and immediate” control over “essential
terms and conditions of employment.”
Importantly, this definition requires joint employers to negotiate with any union representing the jointly employed workers and share liability for National Labor Relations Act violations. This could mean forcing an apartment firm to pay fines for employees of suppliers who violate federal labor laws.
With the Trump administration’s stance on rolling back the regulatory regime, NMHC/NAA will continue to monitor progress on this issue from both a regulatory and legislative perspective.