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.