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San Diego Business & Commercial Law Blog

NLRB Joint Employment Ruling Creates Risks for Companies Utilizing "Temps" or Staffing Agencies

Summary: On August 27, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") issued its decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. (362 NLRB No. 186), which departs from its long-standing joint employer test in favor of a far more expansive view of joint employment. The decision will likely have substantial implications for companies that utilize temporary staffing agencies and contractors.

Browning-Ferris Industries ("BFI") operated a waste recycling facility and employed approximately 60 employees who worked outside the facility. BFI also had a temporary labor service agreement with Leadpoint Business Services ("Leadpoint"), under which Leadpoint provided BFI with approximately 240 workers. The workers were sorters, housekeepers, and cleaners who worked inside the facility. Leadpoint's agreement with BFI contained provisions that required the staffing agency to hire, train, compensate, manage, discipline, review, and terminate its employees. Teamsters Local 350, which already represented the 60 BFI employees, petitioned to represent the 240 workers in negotiations with both Leadpoint and BFI, which the Teamsters argued were joint employers of the workers. Upon review, the NLRB evaluated (1) whether a common-law employment relationship existed and (2) whether the putative joint employers "possessed sufficient control" over employees' essential terms and conditions of employment. In rendering its decision, the NLRB established a new joint employer standard, whereby "sufficient control" can be established directly or indirectly based on contractual provisions between the two putative joint employers. Based in part on the following factors, the NLRB found that BFI maintained sufficient control over Leadpoint workers to establish a joint employment relationship:

What's in a Name? The Benefits of Trademark Registration

Do you need to register your trademark to protect your brand? No. Trademark rights are created by the use of a name, logo, or slogan to identify goods or services, not by its registration. However, if the trademark you have chosen for your brand is distinctive, you may want to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Here are some of the reasons why:

Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act: The Nuts & Bolts

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act ("HWHFA") mandates that California employers provide all employees with paid sick leave starting July 1, 2015. The details of this significant new employment are as follows:

California Wage and Hour Update: Upcoming Changes in 2015

As California employers know, the state has very specific and strict wage and hour laws that relate to minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest periods, and wage statement requirements, to name a few. A violation of any of these laws, even if inadvertent, can expose an employer to penalties. The ramifications of these penalties can be monetarily significant, depending on the particular violation, the number of employees involved, and how far back the violation goes.

Employers Face Increased Liability for Labor Contractors in 2015

Employers that use labor contractors (such as staffing or temp agencies) will share with the contractors all civil legal responsibility and liability for their workers, starting January 1, 2015. This means that employers can be responsible for labor contractors' errors.

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