A concerned business community has closely followed the NLRB’s shifting views on the concept of “joint employers” – separate companies that are deemed to be so interconnected that they should be treated as one for purposes of labor relations activity and unfair labor practice liability. In August of last year, the NLRB decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (Aug. 27, 2015), put into place a broad new test that dramatically expands the definition of “joint employer.” Now, an entity will be found to be a joint employer if it exercises only indirect control over the employment terms and conditions of another company’s employees. Indeed, joint employer status can be established if a company simply possesses, but never exercises, the ability to control such terms.
Continue Reading Business Groups and Others Support Browning-Ferris’s Appeal of the NLRB’s New “Joint Employer” Standard

On March 25, 2016, OSHA published a final rule which significantly reduces the permissible limits of silica dust to which workers can be exposed. The rule will take effect 90 days after publication, and will be codified at 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, and 1926.
Continue Reading New OSHA Rule Significantly Reduces Permissible Limits for Exposure to Silica Dust

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has implemented nationwide procedures which require all EEOC offices to release copies of an Employer’s entire position statement, together with all non-confidential documents submitted in support of the position statement, to an Employee who has filed a discrimination charge, or his or her representative (including attorneys).
Continue Reading EEOC’s New Policy – Employer’s Position Statement Shown to Employee

On November 3, 2015, Houston voters rejected Proposition 1, a broadly-worded human rights ordinance that would have made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of, among other things, gender identity. Opposition to that ordinance coalesced around the issue of restrooms, with many citizens expressing fear that the law would allow men to use women’s restrooms.
Continue Reading Gender Identity in the Workplace: Best Practices