NLRB: Employer consent not needed for temp organizing

As expected, the NLRB has overruled Oakwood Care Center, 343 NLRB 659 (2004) and returned to the rule established in M.B. Sturgis, Inc., 331 NLRB 1298 (2000). The case is Miller & Anderson (NLRB 07/11/2016). The rule: When the NLRB is asked to hold an employee election, employer consent is not necessary for units that combine jointly employed and solely employed employees of a single user employer.

In plain English: Let's say the Sheet Metal Workers want to form a bargaining unit at the Miller & Anderson company, and the unit is made up of a mixture of workers employed by Miller & Anderson plus temporary workers that are jointly employed by Miller & Anderson and a staffing service. Under the Oakwood rule this could happen only if both of the employers consented to the mixture of their employees. Under the new rule, neither of the employers will be able to veto the formation of the unit. The Board will apply the traditional community of interest factors for determining unit appropriateness.

This is a big victory for unions, who will now find it easier (at least legally) to organize temp workers.