Sometimes, the San Antonio Express-News just does not get the story straight. In a story, entitled “Franchisees Fear a Chain of Ruin,” the report suggests the NLRB has made drastic changes to the law regarding joint employers. See San Antonio Express-News report. The NLRB has done nothing like that. See my prior post about that recent decision in the Browning-Ferris Industries case here and here.
As I explained previously, the Browning-Ferris decision simply holds that in those unusual cases in which the franchisor takes a significant part in the running of the franchisee, then yes, they could be viewed as joint employers. The evidence must indicate an unusual relationship in which the franchisor takes steps to control the employees of the franchisee. That should not happen often. The sky has not fallen.
The sky could fall, yes. The NLRB could find in the pending McDonald’s case that the franchisor is a joint employer even if there is no evidence that Big McDonald’s gets involved in employment decisions by the franchisees. But, that is not likely.
The real problem with the Express-News report is it lacks balance. It quotes two defense lawyers, both from the law firm, Ogletree Deakins. The report cites to no plaintiff or employee oriented lawyers. It does not cite to or refer to any NLRB lawyers. The news outlet apparently did not seek an adverse opinion in an area of law that is generally rather adverse.
Like a story on the Spurs-Warriors game, if the reporter does not talk to any of the players on the Golden State Warriors, the story would just not be complete…..