By David Weil
Protecting workers in fissured workplaces – where there is increasingly the possibility that more than one employer is benefiting from their work – has been a major focus for the Wage and Hour Division in recent years. The Wage and Hour Division has always examined employment relationships during its investigations into possible wage and other labor violations, and the agency considers joint employment in hundreds of investigations every year.
While we devote significant resources to enforcing labor standards in order to protect the rights of workers, we also have a commitment to engage with and educate employers so they know about their responsibilities and can operate in compliance with the laws that we are tasked to uphold. That’s why today – consistent with that commitment – we’ve issued guidance on joint employment in the form of an administrator’s interpretation.
What is joint employment?
In a nutshell, joint employment exists when a person is employed by two or more employers such that the employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, for compliance with a statute.
The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act share the same definition of employment. This definition, which includes “to suffer or permit to work,” was written to have as broad an application as possible. Under these laws, it is possible for a worker to be jointly employed by two or more employers who are both responsible, simultaneously, for...Click here to read the rest of the blog post.