The Department of Labor has issued guidance regarding joint employer liability this week. The DOL issued guidance, FAQ’s, illustrations and fact sheets in the hopes that employers and temp agencies will finally realize that they can’t escape responsibility for their workers! For too long we’ve seen them pointing the finger at each other saying it’s the other guys fault, but no longer. We hope this sends a clear mesage that the industry needs to clean up it’s act.
Click here to visit the DOL’s site on joint employer liability:
Our good friends at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) have issued a press release around the issue. Please click here to read the release.
The Center for Investigative Journalism has found widespread discrimination against African American temp workers around the country. We applaud this report for shining a national spotlight on a problem we have seen every day in our organizing and we hope other will take notice and help put an end to discrimination.
The NLRB has just handed temp workers a major victory in their struggle to organize. The Board released their decision on the Browning Ferris case on Wednesday, August 27th. The NLRB found that the host employer, Browning Ferris, and Leadpoint Business Services (temp agency) are in fact “Joint Employers”. Both must bargain with the Teamsters who are organizing the recycling center in question. This decision reverses previous bad rulings by the NLRB and clears the way for workers to hold hold accountable both temp agencies and the host companies, which ultimately profit from their work.
This decision goes far beyond temp workers though and will have an impact on any company that tries to put distance between themselves and their workers to avoid responsibility including contractors and franchise business models.
Apparently abusive temp agencies aren’t just an American phenomenon as our brothers and sisters to the North recently found. Dept of Labor in Ontario Canada conducted surprise inspections of temp agencies in the Greater Toronto Area and found 75% of temp agencies inspected were committing serious wage violations. Among the violations were nonpayment of wages, shoddy record keeping and excess hours of work. Sound familiar? Perhaps there is something about temp agencies that lend themselves towards abuse. If you still doubt the problem is endemic the same Ontario Department of Labor conducted a similar inspection in 2013 and again found 75% of temp agencies were violating labor law.
The Department of Labor recently fined two Philadelphia based companies for serious wage and hour violations. ICS Corp. and the temp agency New Century Integrity worked hand in hand to make sure their workers weren’t paid for overtime. One company paid workers the first 40 hours and the second company would pay the workers straight time for any hours they worked over 40 in cash!
The US DOL recognized the temp workers face higher incidences of workplace violations and we look forward to tighter regulation of this industry.
The University of California Riverside, Institute for Research of Labor and Employment published their findings after looking at the warehouse industry in the Inland Empire (60 miles east of Los Angeles). The findings reinforce what we have heard from the temp workers who staff these warehouses – most of the work comes from temp agencies, there are no benefits, the pay is roughly around minimum wage.
Warehouse jobs through a temp agency are not a pathway out of poverty.
Click below to the read the article – there’s a link to the IRLE website as well.
(photo credit SB Sun)
A new report by a coalition of health and safety advocates, including the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) Network, highlights the rapid growth of the recycling industry and the the dangerous working conditions that many workers face. The report does an excellent job of highlighting the role temp agencies play in creating these unsafe working conditions.
Please take a few moments to download the report and share the link with friends and allies.