On Sunday, Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule on liability for franchisors and companies that outsource services to staffing agencies. The new rule, which replaces a policy put in place by the Obama administration, makes it harder for employees to prove that these companies are legally responsible when a franchisee or staffing firm fails to pay the minimum wage or overtime.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency that enforces some aspects of U.S. labor law, has told a federal administrative law judge to move forward with the approval of a settlement in a longstanding case against McDonald's. Union workers had sued McDonald's after numerous franchises were accused of labor law violations.
In a 2015 case involving Browning-Ferris Industries Inc., the National Labor Relations Board revised its standard for determining when two or more organizations are considered joint employers for the purposes of federal labor and employment law. When companies that are otherwise considered employers "share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment," the board held, those companies are both liable for employment-related issues.