Legal Background

Legal Briefs - Browning Ferris Industries

The Browning Ferris Industries case before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) deals with the issue of liability of businesses for the labor violations of their contractors or franchisees.  The ruling in this case is expected to clarify, and perhaps drastically alter, the standard for finding two separate employers as "joint employers" of particular workers.  The briefs below were filed by parties with interest in the case, which is expected to be decided later this year.


Amicus Brief - NLRB General Counsel

Amicus Brief - Labor Relations and Research Center, University of Massachusetts


Precedent Cases:

CNN (2014)

In this 2014 decision, the NLRB ruled that news network CNN was the joint employer of technicians employed by a contractor.

Love's Barbeque (1979)

In this 1979 decision concerning a restaurant whose ownership was transferred from franchisor to a franchisee, the NLRB ruled that a franchisor and a franchisee are separate employers for the purposes of determining status as a successor employer and subsequent obligations to workers under a union contract.

Speedee 7-Eleven (1968)

In this 1968 decision involving a franchised retail location, the NLRB found that, since the franchisor does not control the labor relations policies of its franchisee, that a franchisor cannot be a joint employer of its franchisees' employees.