Joint Employer Standard/Unionization: Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently revised the so-called “joint employer” standard significantly to expand the scope of determining “co-employment” under the National Labor Relations Act.  Specifically, the NLRB decided that a company could be considered a “joint employer” if it possesses the right to control various terms and conditions of employment, regardless of whether that company actually exercises such control.

Broadening the standard will expose more companies to legal liability for how their subcontractors, staffing agencies and franchisees treat their employees. The ruling also makes businesses more susceptible to workforce unionization by imposing new collective bargaining obligations and allowing unions the ability to strike or picket a large corporate entity rather than the individual location where there is a dispute.

This is the latest step in the Executive Branch’s effort to expand the definition of “employment” to enhance worker benefits. In addition, the Department of Labor in 2015 released “guidance” that has the effect of limiting employers’ ability to classify workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees.

Because the franchisor-franchisee business model is ubiquitous throughout the truckstop and travel plaza industry, and because many NATSO members utilize independent contractors, NATSO plays an active role on these issues before all three branches of the federal government.

NATSO has prepared this detailed analysis of the NLRB’s effort to revise the joint employer standard, and the Department of Labor’s guidance on independent contractors, including a discussion of the potential affect this could have on NATSO members.

 

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David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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