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NLRB finds contract employees are ‘employed’ for bargaining purposes.

(FW Ian) NLRB rules that contractors have a common employer of “whoever is ultimately contracting them” in a case regarding YouTube Music employees (many contracted through Cognizant) vs. Google. This is big because it means that any protections the law will apply, will apply no matter if the worker is a temp contractor through a 3rd party or a direct employee or an independent contractor. This brings a precedent of legally forcing temp contracting agencies (which in the first place were set up to dodge unions) to the table along with the ultimate employer. For a direct action approach, this precedent can make a good story to inoculate contractors and regular employees that they don’t have to treat their employer as separate, they can organize demands upon the ultimate employer who exercises direct and indirect control over their work together.

(FW Ken) According to the article, these are the factors that drove the decision (note the phrase “one or more”):

“Google possesses and exercises such substantial direct and immediate control over one or more essential terms or conditions of the petitioned-for employees’ employment as to warrant a finding that Google “meaningfully affects” matters relating to their employment relationship and is therefore their joint-employer under Section 103.40(a).”

  • Google controls the manner and means of Cognizant’s employees’ performance of all their work
  • Google issues weekly Cognizant employee performance appraisals
  • Google requires suppliers (such as Cognizant) of its “extended workforce” to provide a minimal level of benefits to those employees
  • Google co-determines with Cognizant the employees’ holiday schedule and their overtime hours

Original article

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