A new “joint employer” rule will be coming next month, according to the National Labor Relations Board’s agenda published Thursday to the Federal Register.

Last fall, the NLRB announced a draft of its new joint employer definition, under which companies could face legal action for labor law violations committed by their contractors or franchisees. 

The expanded definition means that senior living providers would face increased exposure and liability if they use employees and staff provided by a third party, such as a staffing agency. The expanded joint employer test also would give labor organizations more options to increase organizing and add more members.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires covered employers to pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage for every hour worked, as well as overtime for eligible workers for hours worked over 40 in a work week.

Under the proposed rule, two or more employers would be considered joint employers if they “share or codetermine those matters governing employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment,” such as wages, benefits and other compensation, work and schooling, hiring and discharge, discipline, workplace health and safety, supervision, assignment and work rules.

The current rule holds that a business is a joint employer only where it has “substantial direct and immediate control” over the essential terms and conditions of another company’s employee. 

Senior living advocates previously voiced their opposition to a rule for determining joint employer status. Argentum signed on to comments from the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which recommended that the NLRB “start over or leave the current standard in place.”

The public comment period on the proposed rule closed in early December. 

Proposed rules cover overtime, workplace violence 

The US Department of Labor also published updates on proposed rules on overtime exemptions and a workplace violence prevention standard.

The proposed overtime rule, which would set the salary threshold that employers would use to determine those employees eligible for overtime pay, is under final review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. DOL’s agenda sets August as the target date for issuing the proposed rule. 

The potential future rule on violence committed against employees in healthcare and social assistance settings is being considered by the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The regulatory agenda confirmed that this issue remains in the pre-proposal stage, with OSHA intending to complete its analysis of information from the Small Business Review Panel by December.