Biden vetoes bill to overturn NLRB joint employer rule, protecting workers

Washington – President Biden has vetoed a Congressional Review Act measure that sought to overturn the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule preventing corporations from hiding behind a subcontractor or staffing agency when workers want to collectively bargain.

The NLRB’s joint employer rule expands bargaining obligations and liability for labor violations for employers that have power over working conditions, even if workers are hired through a third party or by franchisees of a larger franchise.

The regulation ensures that union members can bargain with each company that has the power to make changes in the workplace. A two-thirds majority in the House and Senate would be required to overturn the veto, an unlikely scenario as an overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats endorse the rule.

“Since day one, my administration has fought to strengthen workers’ right to organize and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions,” Biden said in a statement.

“The NLRB’s rule would prevent companies from evading their bargaining obligations or liability when they control a worker’s working condition — even if they reserve such control or exercise it indirectly through a subcontractor or other intermediary.  If multiple companies control the terms and conditions of employment, then the right to organize is rendered futile whenever the workers cannot bargain collectively with each of those employers.

“Without the NLRB’s rule, companies could more easily avoid liability simply by manipulating their corporate structure, like hiding behind subcontractors or staffing agencies,” Biden said. “By hampering the NLRB’s efforts to promote the practice and procedure of collective bargaining, Republicans are siding with union-busting corporations over the needs of workers and their unions.”

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