(Reuters) - A California waste management company has launched a legal challenge to a new U.S. labor board standard for "joint employment" that could make it easier for unions and regulators to hold companies accountable for the practices of staffing agencies, contractors and franchisees with which they partner.
Browning-Ferris Industries, a subsidiary of Republic Services Inc, this week sought review of the National Labor Relations Board’s August decision on joint employment to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.
In its 3-2 ruling, the NLRB said an existing standard that said companies only qualify as "joint employers" of workers hired by another business if they had "direct and immediate" control over employment matters was outdated, and did not reflect the realities of the 21st century work force.
The ruling said parent companies can be held liable for labor violations committed by franchisees and contractors even when they have only indirect control.
(Reporting by Robert Iafolla in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown)