Scott: DOL’s Joint Employer Rule Leaves Workers Vulnerable to Wage Theft
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, issued the following statement after the Department of Labor issued a final rule to narrow its interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s joint employment standard.
“The Fair Labor Standards Act’s broad joint employment standard has long ensured that workers can hold multiple employers accountable for violating workplace rights and protections where the employee establishes that they are economically dependent on a joint employer. This joint employment standard has not only helped prevent dishonest employers from hiding behind intermediaries, such as staffing agencies, but also provides workers a better chance at recovering stolen wages, such as unpaid overtime. The joint employment standard is particularly important today as employers increasingly adopt business models that rely on permatemps and subcontracting over which they maintain control.
“The Department of Labor’s final rule conflicts with the Fair Labor Standards Act and congressional intent by drastically narrowing the Department’s interpretation of joint employment to circumstances under which a potential employer actually exercises control.
“Although this interpretive rule does not have the force of law, it limits how the Department will hold employers responsible for wage theft, child labor violations, gender or race-based pay discrimination, or limiting a breastfeeding worker’s right to break time to pump. The new rule could also put small businesses with limited capital on the hook for violations for which they share control with the joint employer and will further tilt the field of competition against honest, ethical businesses.
“The Department’s final joint employer rule is another setback for workers and another violation of the Trump Administration’s promise to stand with working people.”