Capitol Correspondence - 08.20.18

Members of Congress Ask DOL to Issue a New Joint Employer Rule

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According to BNA:

“Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) recently asked Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to issue a new regulation updating joint employer liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg Law. The lawmakers—along with groups such as the International Franchise Association and HR Policy Association—want the department to limit the circumstances in which one business can be considered a joint employer of another’s workers.

A wide range of businesses have told Byrne and Cuellar that ‘the federal definitions of ‘joint employer’ have become so overly broad and vague that employers who want to do right by their employees do not understand the new, limitless rules,’ the lawmakers said in an Aug. 14 letter to Acosta. ‘We urge you to use the agency’s available tools to provide clarity for small businesses on this issue,’ they wrote.


A current DOL regulation interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act focuses on the relationship between the businesses, rather than between each business and the workers, to determine joint employer liability for minimum wage and overtime purposes. One of the Obama wage and hour memos that Acosta killed last year stated that joint employment ‘should be defined expansively’.”