In this decision, the NLRB ruled that a construction company and temporary service agency were considered joint employers over temporary employees for the purposes of a union election, despite the fact that the construction company’s project was nearly completed and the temporary employees would no longer be assigned to that employer.
Companies utilizing temporary service agencies should be cognizant of the need for such agencies to supervise their employees, just as a subcontractor would bring in its own management and supervision to a jobsite. In this case, the temporary service agency had control over the hiring and termination of employees, handled screening, drug tests and grievances, set and paid wages and benefits, and provided safety training. Yet, the construction company required drug tests and prescreening of all temporary employees, could require the removal of any temporary employee, set the hours and sequence of work, set breaks and tracked employee hours, and, most importantly, supervised and directed the day to day activities of employees because the agency’s supervisor was infrequently at the jobsite. This type of indirect control was deemed to create the joint-employer status.
The case could be overturned by a federal court, but that has not yet happened. Therefore, it is recommended that employers be aware of situations that could create the joint employer relationship. Further information regarding the case can be found below.