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Trump administration rolls back Obama era ‘joint employer’ rule

Trump administration rolls back Obama era ‘joint employer’ rule

by Sean Higgins | Washington Examiner  |  Published on January 13, 2020

The White House has formally rolled back one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious attempts to rewrite federal labor law to benefit unions, the so-called joint employer rule.

The Trump administration on Sunday said that businesses shouldn’t be held liable for violations by other companies if all they share is a corporate brand.

The Obama administration had sought to make franchiser corporations such as McDonald’s legally responsible for workplace violations by their franchisees, even if the latter were legally independent businesses. The previous administration based this on the theory that a corporation was a “joint employer” with the other company even if the former only had “indirect control” over the latter company’s policies.

Trump administration has been working to roll back the “joint employer” rule since President Trump took office. The Labor Department on Sunday issued an official rule that corporations were only liable when they had “direct control” over the other company’s policies. The administration clarified that to be joint employers, both businesses had to be able to: hire or fire an employee; have control over their work schedule; control the workers’ pay; and maintain the workers’ employment records.

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