Staffing Industry Trends: Redefining “Employer” in the US
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is preparing to rule on a pivotal case that could revise the current definition of “employer” in the U.S. The NLRB is hearing a case brought against Browning-Ferris Industries, a waste-disposal company based out of Houston, Texas by their subcontracted employees at a recycling plant in California, who are seeking to engage in compensation negotiations with the company. The decision could be a significant change for the American economy, especially as a growing number of Americans work as subcontractors for temporary staffing agencies.
Under the current definition, a company has to exhibit direct control over employees through their hiring, firing or disciplining to be labeled a joint employer. The issue up for discussion is who exactly qualifies as a “joint employer” under U.S. labor law. Defining “joint employer” could have broad impacts on American corporations, franchisers and staffing agencies. The issue has already surfaced earlier this year when the Labor Boards general counsel concluded that McDonald’s Corp and individual franchising restaurant owners can both be held responsible for working conditions and employee treatment.
The prospect of redefining what it means to be an American employer has already prompted an outcry from many businesses that claim changing the definition of joint employers across all industry sectors will raise costs and slow economic growth. According to the American Staffing Association, staffing agencies employ over 3 million American workers, including franchisee workers who could be affected by new regulatory changes. Current projections indicate that employment in the franchise sector alone will increase 4.6 percent next year, however opponents fear that these number will decease as a result of any regulation adjustments. The NLRB is expecting to have reached a decision on the issue by December 16th.
Faced with mounting legislation and increased competition, it can be tricky for staffing professionals to navigate the ever changing risk exposures they face. At World Wide Specialty Programs we understand the unique and volatile nature of the temporary staffing industry. That’s why we specialize in ensuring that staffing industry members attain the coverage they need to succeed. We proudly offer a comprehensive portfolio of staffing insurance solutions to help brokers secure everything from EPL to professional liability coverage for their clients. Give our temp staffing insurance specialists a call today at (877) 256-0468 to learn more about all our staffing agency solutions.