NLRB Reverses Rulings
NLRB Reverses Three Obama -Era Decisions
(December 2017) The National Labor Relations Board (NLR) recently reversed three rulings made under President Obama, all of which will impact business, whether unionized or not. Most consider these reversals a victory for business.
The first case that was reversed was the Browning Ferris decision in which the NLRB had ruled that a business entity could be found to be a “joint employer” if it had even indirect or potential control over individuals who were employed by another entity. Now, the old standard will be applied, i.e., that a business must have “direct and immediate” control to be considered a joint employer.
The second reversal is of the Specialty Healthcare decision, which allowed unions to petition for “micro-units’ making an employer now potentially bargain with several distinct entities within the business. The Board went back to the old standard of “traditional community of interest,” allowing the consideration of all employees, not just those in a petitioned-for micro unit.
Finally, the NLRB overturned the Lutheran Heritage ruling which emphasized employee rights when considering objections to certain employer policies, often minimizing the reason why the policy was created in the first place. Under the new rule, the Board will consider any “legitimate justification” associated with the employer policy.