Labor & Employment

Brace for more litigation based on feds' new joint employment guidance, labor lawyers tell companies

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Department of Labor

Businesses should brace for more wage and benefits litigation, based on new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor concerning the definition of joint employment, experts say.

Although the DOL says it has made no policy change and intends the directive as a road map for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, law firms that represent employers are warning of potential pitfalls for businesses that hire temporary and contract workers through agencies, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports.

“At the very least, we expect additional parties to be more commonly named in wage and hour litigation,” Seyfarth Shaw said in a client alert.

Similarly, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart says in a post on its website that businesses “need to think carefully about whether they may be viewed as joint employers over workers they do not consider to be their employees, even workers over whom they have little control.”

Related coverage: “NLRB ruling affecting franchise and contract workers follows other pro-worker actions”

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