Staffing EPL Coverage: Debating At-Will Employee Rights
The National Labor Relations Board recently investigated allegations that McDonald’s franchisees and their parent franchise company McDonald’s, USA, LLC, violated the rights of employees during employee protests. Going against previous cases, NLRB counsel found that McDonalds, as a franchisor company can still be held liable for violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Historically, employment practices liability has typically been deferred to the franchise owner or manager instead of the corporate entity behind the brand. The council’s recent decision to authorize some claims against McDonald’s, USA, LLC will allow employees to name the franchisor corporation as a party to specific legal disputes.
According to their press release, the NLRB has received 181 claims filed against the fast food giant since 2012. Of those claims, the review council has authorized 43 claims in which McDonald’s franchisees and/or McDonald’s, USA, LLC will be named as a defendant, should the claims not reach a settlement.
Worker’s advocacy groups and labor analysts have noted the potential impact of this decision for not only fast food workers, but at-will employees of all types. The decision calls to question one of the major corporate accountability dilemmas of the modern economy. As globalization has increased, so have labor outsourcing, contract working and temporary staffing. Many studies have shown that these alternative employment solutions are rapidly outpacing salaried employment growth. These changing labor trends have created ambiguity about who is responsible for labor conditions in a given workplace. The recent McDonald’s decision highlights the need for more legislative clarity regarding worker’s rights in order to adapt to changing employment trends.
Currently, in many instances staffing agencies can be held liable for breaches of employee rights or proper employment practices while an employee is placed with a host company. In many cases, temporary and contract workers are direct employees of the staffing agency, however they are subject to follow all the rules and regulations of both their host company and their staffing agency employer. It remains highly debated however, which company can be held accountable for any employee mistreatment. It is increasingly common for both parties to be held responsible for the treatment of temporary and contract workers.
Having strong EPL insurance is vital for the staffing industry now more than ever. At World Wide Specialty Programs, we specialize in providing the staffing industry with comprehensive risk management and business insurance solutions to protect operations of all sizes from the unique risks they face. Our Staffing EPL Coverage extends to both fully time agency employees and placed contract workers. It also protects against claims brought on by clients for a placed employee’s actions in their workplace. Contact us today at (877) 256-0468 to learn more about all our staffing industry insurance solutions.