Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

NLRB Expands Joint Employer Definition (9/10/2015)

​​On August 27, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a ruling that widely expands the definition of a “joint employer,” paving the way for companies that have contractors and subcontractors to be drawn into collective bargaining and be held responsible for their contractors’ labor violations. The ruling determined that Browning-Ferris Industries of California, a waste management company, should be held jointly responsible for the treatment of its contractor’s employees. Previous labor law held that companies are only responsible for employees over whom they have direct control by setting their hours, wages or job responsibilities. By redefining what constitutes an employer, the ruling could have dramatic effects on the contracting practices common throughout the commercial real estate industry, such as using outside vendors for cleaning, landscaping and security services.

This decision will almost certainly face a legal challenge in the federal courts to determine the legality of the NLRB’s joint employer definition. BOMA International will watch this issue closely as it proceeds through the courts.​