The Labor Department and Trump administration appointees at the National Labor Relations Board, the main federal labor law enforcement agency, are expected to wrap up new rule-makings in the coming weeks that will undo pro-union efforts of the Obama administration.
The DOL and NLRB are expected to issue rules that limit corporate “joint employer” legal liability in workplace violations. The NLRB is also expected to limit union access to workplaces. The DOL is poised to roll back the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule making investment advisers more legally liable.
Rewrites of the “joint employer” rules have been in the works at both agencies for several months. The NLRB version is expected to be announced in early 2020, according to a source with knowledge at the board. The White House concluded the final stage of reviewing the Labor Department’s proposal on Friday but has yet to publish it.
Joint employer refers to when one business can be held liable for workplace violations at another business. Traditionally, this required one business to have direct control over the other business. The Obama administration had sought to make businesses liable even if they merely had “indirect control,” a much vaguer standard that business groups objected to. The NLRB and DOL are both expected to restore the earlier direct-control standard.