Sablan and Takano Statement on NLRB Chairman’s Abuse of Power During Final Days

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, and Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-M.P.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, released the following statement after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued multiple, rushed 3-2 decisions that will undermine workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

These decisions included Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., which overruled the traditional test for determining whether two or more entities are joint employers and therefore obligated to collectively bargain with their workers. The NLRB announced these decisions just before the end of Republican Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s term this Saturday, after which the NLRB will return to a 2-2 partisan split. 

“This week, the NLRB issued a string of 3-2 decisions announcing major changes that undermine worker protections under the NLRA. Most alarming is the NLRB’s decision to overturn Browning-Ferris, which in 2015 had re-instated the traditional test for determining when two or more entities are joint employers under the NLRA. This decision charts a roadmap for employers to evade statutory bargaining obligations, while retaining control over their subcontracted or permatemp workers. The Hy-Brand decision will render collective bargaining a futile exercise for millions of subcontracted workers, because one of the parties calling the shots on wages or working conditions will no longer be required to participate in negotiations. 

“Even more troubling is the NLRB’s departure from its well-established practice of inviting input from the public when it considers a change in policy or intends to reverse precedent. Neither of the parties in these cases requested the NLRB to overturn the joint employer precedent, and nor did they know that the NLRB was considering it.  When judges do this, we call it judicial activism. This jamming through of new precedents without public input will stand as a shameful chapter in the NLRB’s history.”

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