NLRB General Counsel Pick Confirmed by the Senate

By: Jizell Lopez

This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Peter Robb, a management side labor attorney, as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). As general counsel, he is expected to set the stage for the NLRB to overturn key pieces of the previous administration’s legacy.

Mr. Robb succeeds President Obama’s appointee, Richard Griffin, who has been accused of an overly broad interpretation of workers’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Mr. Robb will join a Republican-controlled labor board and is expected to reverse the Browning-Ferris decision, which expands the agency’s interpretation of when a business is a joint employer, and the D.R. Horton decision, which bans arbitration agreements with class-action waivers.

Narrowed “Joint Employment” Definition Passed by the House

By: Jizell Lopez

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a proposal to undo the expanded theory of joint employer liability for labor violations that was implemented by the previous administration. The “Save Local Businesses Act” proposes to change both the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to require that a company exert “direct, actual, and immediate” control of a worker to be considered a joint employer of another company’s employees.

The bill is largely in response to the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) 2015 decision in the Browning-Ferris case where the Board extended joint employer liability under the NLRA to companies with mere “indirect control” over another company’s employees.

As we previously reported, however, even if the new bill passes, California employers will still have to contend with California law, specifically Section 2810.3 of the Labor Code, which provides that a client employer is strictly and jointly responsible for a labor contractor’s failure to pay wages and failure to secure valid workers’ compensation coverage.

Reports of Further Automation Efforts by Farmers

By: Rebecca Hause-Schultz

The Trump administration’s immigration policies, including efforts in Congress to pass e-verify legislation, are forcing some American farmers to look to automation to solve the labor crisis. In a Reuters article published this week, it was reported that California farmers are looking to automate operations, including crop production and harvesting. You can read that article here.

Technology companies are quickly responding to this automation push. For example, a Google entity recently made a $10 million investment in a robotics company working to create an apple-picking robot.

The landscape of the workforce in American agriculture continues to evolve in response to the Trump administration, particularly E-Verify and the potential H-2C program which is pending in the legislature. You can read more about the H-2C program in our previous e-blast, available here.

If you have questions or concerns about labor relations or wage and hour compliance, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.

Santa Rosa FLC Program Rescheduled for December 7!

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