The U.S. Labor Council delays new hiring rule after business groups file lawsuit


The federal government is late New base This could make it easier for millions of workers to join unions after business groups challenged it in court.

The rule — which was scheduled to take effect in December — will now take effect on February 26, the National Labor Relations Board said Thursday. The council said the delay would give it time to resolve the legal challenges.

The rule sets new standards for determining when two companies should be considered “joint employers” in employment negotiations. Under the current NLRB rule, passed by a Republican-dominated board in 2020, a company like McDonald’s is not considered a joint employer. For most of its employees, they are employed directly by the franchisees.

But the new rule will expand that definition, saying that companies can be considered joint employers if they have the ability to control — directly or indirectly — at least one of the terms of employment. Conditions include wages and benefits, work hours and scheduling, assignment of duties, and work and employment rules.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups — including the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the International Franchise Association, and the National Retail Federation — sued the NLRB in federal court in Texas last week to block the rule.

They say the rule overturns years of precedent and could make companies liable for workers they don’t employ at workplaces they don’t own. But the NLRB says the current rule makes it too easy for companies to avoid their legal responsibility to bargain with workers.

The new rule also faces opposition in Congress. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to the NLRB this week saying it had not complied with the required 60-day delay before key rules would take effect. . The new rule was published in the Federal Register on October 27 and was scheduled to take effect on December 26.

Cassidy and other lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also introduced a resolution to repeal the rule. But this resolution will need the approval of the Senate and House of Representatives and the signature of President Joe Biden to take effect.

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