NLRB Limits Employer Hiring Options by Eliminating Employer Consent in Unionization Process

Guest Blog: Natalie Wyman

Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued yet another invasive decision that further limits employers in favor of empowering unions. In Miller & Anderson, the NLRB overturned their 2004 ruling requiring solely and jointly employed employees to get employer consent before unionizing together.

This decision reverts back to the “Sturgis standard” that was issued in 2000 and then overturned in 2004. In 2000, the NLRB ruled that employees that were hired by separate employers but were working side by side and performing similar tasks could unionize together. However, the NLRB then overturned that ruling in 2004 in a case concerning a nursing home by determining that consent from all employers involved was necessary before those employees could unionize as a single unit.

Allowing temporary employees hired by outside agencies to unionize with full-time employees without employer consent sets a dangerous precedent. Employers hire temporary workers for temporary work. This ruling completely undermines the ability of employers to bring workers in for a short period of time and therefore discourages them from using temporary or contract employees at all. It also adds a strain on the ability of employers to use all options at their disposal during future hiring processes.

The return to Sturgis is just another link in a chain of excessive activism by the NLRB. Not only has the NLRB recently redefined the definition of a “joint employer” to further benefit unions, it is now taking employer consent completely out of the equation.

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