- Leadpoint had its own supervisors and managers on site.
- Leadpoint management scheduled its workers
- Leadpoint evaluated its own employees' work.
- Leadpoint had its own HR manager on site.
- Leadpoint made all hiring decisions, but BFI provided criteria / job qualifications
- BFI imposed hiring criteria including a drug panel and skills test
- Leadpoint made all discipline and termination decisions, although BFI requested a couple of discharges after catching Leadpoint employees engaged in misconduct at the facility.
- Leadpoint set pay rates with employees, but BFI's agreement provided the maximum it would reimburse Leadpoint.
- BFI set the hours of operation of the plant and the shift times. But Leadpoint scheduled the employees.
The Board may find that two or more entities are joint employers of a single work force if they are both employers within the meaning of the common law, and if they share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment. In evaluating the allocation and exercise of control in the workplace, we will consider the various ways in which joint employers may “share” control over terms and conditions of employment or “codetermine” them, as the Board and the courts have done in the past
a servant is a person employed to perform services in the affairs of another and who with respect to the physical conduct in the performance of the services is subject to the other’s control or right to control.
The common law, indeed, recognizes that control may be indirect . For example, the Restatement of Agency (Second) §220, comment l (“Control of the premises”) observes thatSo, that is the outer limit of what an employee is, but it's not enough to ensure joint employer status. Hence the second prong: "share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment." Here, the Board decided to return to prior case law that expanded the list of criteria it considers relevant to "share or codetermine."
[i]f the work is done upon the premises of the employer with his machinery by workmen who agree to obey general rules for the regulation of the conduct of employees, the inference is strong that such workmen are the servants of the owner... and illustrates this principle by citing the example of a coal mine owner employing miners who, in turn, supply their own helpers. Both the miners and their helpers are servants of the mine owner.
Essential terms indisputably include wages and hours, as reflected in the Act itself.82 Other examples of control over mandatory terms and conditions of employment found probative by the Board include dictating the number of workers to be supplied;83 controlling scheduling,84 seniority, and overtime; 85 and assigning work and determining the manner and method of work performance
- Re hiring, BFI required drug testing, asked Leadpoint not to hire those BFI previously employed and deemed ineligible, and BFI could reject anyone brought to its premises.
- Re discipline and termination, BFI could report to Leadpoint employees whom BFI felt should be disciplined or discharged.
- Re working conditions, BFI had the right to control its conveyor belt, including the speed at which it operated. BFI held meetings with Leadpoint employees to provide feedback and training. And because BFI set the shift times and decided how many workers were needed to staff the plant, those were indirect indicia of control.
- Re wages:
Under the parties’ contract, Leadpoint determines employees’ pay rates, administers all payments, retains payroll records, and is solely responsible for providing and administering benefits. But BFI specifically prevents Leadpoint from paying employees more than BFI employees performing comparable work.111 BFI’s employment of its own sorter at $5 more an hour creates a de facto wage ceiling for Leadpoint workers. In addition, BFI and Leadpoint are parties to a cost-plus contract, under which BFI is required to reimburse Leadpoint for labor costs plus a specified percentage markup.112 Although this arrangement, on its own, is not necessarily sufficient to create a joint-employer relationship,113 it is coupled here with the apparent requirement of BFI approval over employee pay increases.114
Today, in the most sweeping of recent major decisions, the Board majority rewrites the decades-old test for determining who the “employer” is. More specifically, the majority redefines and expands the test that makes two separate and independent entities a “joint employer” of certain employees. This change will subject countless entities to unprecedented new joint-bargaining obligations that most do not even know they have, to potential joint liability for unfair labor practices and breaches of collective-bargaining agreements, and to economic protest activity, including what have heretofore been unlawful secondary strikes, boycotts, and picketing.
no bargaining table is big enough to seat all of the entities that will be potential joint employers under the majority’s new standards.
today’s majority holding does not represent a “return to the traditional test used by the Board,” as our colleagues claim even while admitting that the Board has never before described or articulated the test they announce today. Contrary to their characterization, the new joint-employer test fundamentally alters the law applicable to user-supplier, lessor-lessee, parent-subsidiary, contractor-subcontractor, franchisor-franchisee, predecessor-successor, creditor-debtor, and contractor-consumer business relationships under the Act. In addition, because the commerce data applicable to joint employers is combined for jurisdictional purposes,11 the Act’s coverage will extend to small businesses whose separate operations and employees have until now not been subject to Board jurisdiction.
The Act encourages collective bargaining, but only by an “employer” in direct relation to its employees. Our colleagues take this purpose way beyond what Congress intended, and the result unavoidably will be too much of a good thing. We believe the majority’s test will actually foster substantial bargaining instability by requiring the nonconsensual presence of too many entities with diverse and conflicting interests on the “employer” side. Indeed, even the commencement of good-faith bargaining may be delayed by disputes over whether the correct “employer” parties are present. This predictable outcome is irreconcilable with the Act’s overriding policy to “eliminate
the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce.”