NLRB Seeks Unionization For Temporary Workers

Date: September 25, 2015

General Counsel Urges NLRB To Overturn Previous Decision On Temporary Worker Unionization

The National Labor Relations Board is looking to allow temporary workers the right to unionize at businesses where their employee counterparts are unionized. In an amicus brief recently filed in the Miller & Anderson case, the office of NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin asks the NLRB to overturn a decision made in the Oakwood Care Center case during President George W. Bush’s Administration, Politico reports. In that case, the NLRB found “a group of contingent workers could not unionize with permanent employees without the consent of the employer and the relevant staffing agency.” In the new filing, NLRB counsel Amy Cocuzza argues, “The employers’ consent, or lack thereof, should not be a consideration.” Cocuzza says that instead, the NLRB should revert back to a Clinton Administration-era decision in 2000, in the MB Sturgis case, which was later overruled in the Oakwood case. Under the Sturgis case, both “permanent and temporary workers could occupy the same unit if they were found to be jointly employed by the primary employer and the staffing agency and if they share a ‘community of interest.’”

What This Means For Small Businesses

The NLRB is becoming increasingly aggressive in its efforts to encroach upon employer rights. If successful in overturning the Oakwood decision, the agency could use its new ability to allow temporary and permanent workers to unionize together with its loosening of “the joint employer standard” in the recent Browning-Ferris case to allow unions easier abilities than ever before to argue “that a joint employer relationship exists and win approval of a mixed bargaining unit,” Politico notes. Small businesses would face a growing threat of unionized workers if the NLRB is successful in its latest anti-business efforts.

Additional Reading

NFIB recently noted the NLRB’s decision to redefine subcontractors as employees and franchise businesses as corporate-owned, a dangerous erosion of small business rights.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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