NLRB Ruling Makes Using Staffing Agency Employees More Risky

  • July 13, 2016

Using Staffing Agency Employees Just Got More Risky

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photo: Wabash Avenue in Chicago, July 2016

It’s another hot summer week and the NLRB is at it again. This week they issued a decision in a case called Miller & Anderson, Inc. in which they ruled that workers supplied by temporary employment staffing agencies to other employers may be included in a bargaining unit with the employees who are employed only by the other employer.  Previously this type of “combined” bargaining unit required the consent of both employers, but that is no longer the case.

This raises a lot of potential legal issues for employers.  Here’s a list of some of those things you may want to prepare from, taken from a great summary article on the new ruling from attorneys at the firm Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC.

  1. Going forward, workers from temporary agencies must be considered to be potential voters in any organizing campaign you experience.
  2. Under the new NLRB election procedures, and with multiple employers involved,  it will be even more complicated to meet the tight deadlines for filing of briefs and furnishing employee contact information
  3. You may have to negotiate jointly with your staffing agency.
  4. Strikes, picketing and other types of concerted activity related to your staffing agency provider could become more complicated, spilling over into your operations.
  5. Changing temporary agencies that may be experiencing union organizing could now become an Unfair Labor Practice.

You should review this case and begin to prepare for how it might impact your operations. As always, it is very important to review supplier contracts with your vendors to ensure the issues above and others are addressed properly under the new standard.

Decertification Standard Also Changed

As reported this morning in Politico Morning Shift, the Board also expanded the bar on when an employer may challenge a union’s majority status. Currently, any employer found in violation of the National Labor Relations Act may not challenge a union’s majority status – via a decertification election petition – for six months after the unfair labor practice finding. On Tuesday, the board extended that rule somewhat, saying that the six-month waiting period also applied to instances in which the employer admits wrongdoing in an informal settlement. Full decision here: