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Less than two months after the National Labor Relations Board's Office of the General Counsel filed a series of unfair labor practice complaints against McDonald's USA LLC as a joint employer with several of its franchises, the office has issued six new complaints involving 23 charges against the franchisor.
While the Board has yet to issue its much-anticipated decision in the Browning-Ferris case that will address the definition of joint employment, GC Richard Griffin has been vocal in his view that the Board should adopt a significantly expanded theory of joint-employment, which is that an entity is considered a joint employer if it "has the potential" to control such terms and conditions of employment, or if "industrial realities" otherwise makes it an essential party to meaningful collective bargaining.
The General Counsel's move comes a week after the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing to address a possible new definition of "joint employer" under the National Labor Relations Act. During this hearing, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) lamented that if the Board does indeed adopt the GC's view, it would "destroy business opportunities for about 700,000 Americans."
We will continue to watch this issue closely.