News – “Labor Board Overturns Ruling That Protected Fast-Food Workers”

eater.com – On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board overturned an Obama-era policy that made it easier for workers — including many employees of fast-food and other chain restaurants — to unionize and otherwise challenge their employers over labor practices. Here’s everything you need to know:

What’s happening?

• The National Labor Relations Board, the federal government agency in charge of enforcing labor laws as they relate to unions and unfair labor practices, has overturned its previous ruling on the 2015 case known as Browning-Ferris Industries. The case centered on the concept of joint employers — namely, who is held responsible for how workers are treated when more than one entity controls or supervises their work.

• This decision has a far-reaching effect with implications for many businesses that operate with a franchise model, including big fast-food corporations. Under this new ruling, a company such as McDonald’s can essentially say it’s not responsible for how employees of its franchised locations are treated as it relates to labor law violations.

How did we get here?

• In 2015, under the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board handed down a controversial decision in a case known as Browning-Ferris Industries that essentially redefined what it meant to be classified as an employer.

• The Browning-Ferris Industries case involved a recycling center where the staff was comprised of contract workers, hired through a staffing agency. The case asked whether or not the recycling center could be held responsible for the treatment of contract workers. The 2015 ruling found that the workers were “jointly employed,” meaning that the recycling center itself, in addition to the staffing firm, could be held liable for any labor law violations.


Yea I can see this getting ugly especially with fast food trending towards more and more  automated resources.

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