On April 16, newly confirmed member John Ring was sworn in as the fifth member and Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, establishing a Republican-controlled Board.   While all has been relatively quiet with regard to rulings from the Board,  we will likely see a rise in activity now that the NLRB (with a  newly-minted majority) is poised to roll back some of the Obama-era rulings.
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The National Labor Relations Board and McDonald’s Corp. have reached a settlement agreement in the long-running employment retaliation case brought against McDonald’s that hinges on whether McDonald’s Corp., as a franchisor, has enough control over its franchisees to be considered a “joint employer” of the franchisees’ employees.
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Recently the National Labor Relations Board invited interested parties and amici to submit briefs in Velox Express, Inc. to address under what circumstances, if any, the Board should deem an employer’s misclassifying statutory employees as independent contractors constitutes a violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.  Briefs from parties and interested amici must be submitted on or before April 16, 2018.
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We previously informed you of the NLRB’s decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co. in which the Board  overruled the controversial joint employer test which it had announced in Browning-Ferris Industries. On February 26, 2018, the Board entered an order vacating the Hy-Brand decision.  It did so in light of a determination by the Board’s Designated Agency Ethics Official, that Board Member William Emanuel “is, and should have been, disqualified from participating in the [Hy-Brand] proceeding.” 
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We have reported on several Board decisions issued by a new Republican majority in the final days of 2017, but questions remain as to what issues the Board will address next to scale back on Obama-era precedent.  In recent weeks, Republican Board Members have provided some hints in a pair of footnotes in two unpublished decisions.  
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Raytheon Network Centric Systems, 365 NLRB No. 161 (Dec. 15, 2017), is one of several decisions issued this month by the National Labor Relations Board’s (the “Board”) new Republican majority which reverse Obama-era precedent. Raytheon overrules the Board’s decision E.I. du Pont de Nemours, 364 NLRB No. 113 (2016), which limited the changes employers can make unilaterally in a union environment.
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The National Labor Relations Board issued a much-anticipated decision on Thursday, overruling its controversial 2015 Browning-Ferris decision that unions and employees argued drastically expanded the definition and scope of the Board’s joint-employer doctrine. In Browning-Ferris, the Board departed from decades of precedent and held that entities who merely possessed—as opposed to directly and immediately exercised—control over workers would be deemed joint employers for purposes of assessing liability under the National Labor Relations Act.
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