November 30, 2018
In an amicus brief filed this week, HR Policy urged the National Labor Relations Board to provide clarity around the joint employer issue and reject a motion to recuse Chairman John Ring and Member William Emanuel from the McDonald's USA case, which would likely leave it to be decided by a Democratic majority.
"Weaponization” of Ethics Rules: The issue of recusal of Ring and Emanuel revolves around their former law firms representing clients in separate cases involving the joint employer issue, which has historically not been a basis for recusal. “The attempt by certain parties,” the HR Policy brief states, “to weaponize ethics standards is not only inappropriate but will result in long-term institutional harm to the integrity of the Board.”
“The lack of clarity of the law in this area is especially damaging to Association members’ business planning,” including in the franchisor/franchisee area,” our brief reads.
Outlook: The joint employer issues at stake in the McDonald’s case are an Association priority. While we will continue to press the Board to achieve clarity in this area, a legislative solution would provide greater stability, given the Board’s increasing polarization. HR Policy supports Rep. Bradley Byrne’s (R-AL) Save Local Business Act and looks forward to working with the 116th Congress to pass sensible legislation in this area.