The National Grocers Association (NGA), the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, issued the following statement from Senior Vice President and Counsel Chris Jones in response to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) new regulations on joint employer standards under National Labor Relations Act (NLRA):
“This final rule considerably broadens the existing definition of a “joint employer,” exposing independent community grocers, cooperatives and other small businesses to legal uncertainty and an increased likelihood of litigation. As independent community grocers and wholesalers grapple with ongoing labor shortages and workforce gaps, the introduction of such federal regulations not only worsens these existing challenges but also places them at risk of heightened liability and labor costs that are particularly burdensome in an industry with historically slim profit margins.”
NGA submitted comments on the rule in December of 2022 outlining concerns with the proposed rules and providing policy recommendations to provide independent community grocers with the necessary flexibility Specifically, NGA advocated clear and concise definitions of essential employment terms and conditions, as well as a safe harbor for the contracts within cooperative business models.
NGA also joined comments filed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.
Barron’s reports the new regulation would “make it easier for workers and unions to hold some businesses accountable in labor disputes, by broadening the definition of when a company can be considered a joint employer with another business. The sectors expected to be most affected by the change are franchise businesses and companies that use temporary staffing agencies and contractors.”
According to SHRM, the updated rule says two entities are considered joint employers “if they share or co-determine the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment.”
It goes into effect Dec. 26, 2023.