The National Labor Relations Board seal
The National Labor Relations Board seal

Editor’s note, Jan. 17:  In light of the partial government shutdown and subsequent shutdown of, on Jan. 17 the National Labor Relations Board announced an email address for the electronic submission of public comments on the proposed joint-employer rulemaking: Comments also may be mailed or delivered to the address below.

The National Labor Relations Board announced Friday that it is extending until Jan. 28 the deadline for people to submit comments on its proposed “joint employer” rule, due to a Dec. 28 decision in the Browning-Ferris Industries of California v. NLRB case by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The court, in a 2-1 decision, ruled in part that the NLRB acted properly in 2015, during President Obama’s administration, when it said that a company could be considered a joint employer of another company’s workers if it possesses the right to control, or actually exercises control, whether direct or indirect, over employees’ terms and conditions of employment. The definition was broader than the former one.

 A rule proposed by the NLRB in September, under President Trump’s administration, would define an employer as a joint employer of another company’s workers only if it “possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine.” Most businesses — including senior living companies — support the proposed rule, whereas pro-labor groups oppose it.

Before Friday’s extension, the latest deadline for comments was set to end Jan. 14.

Also on Friday, 11 attorneys general — from California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. — filed a letter advocating for keeping the current joint employer standard, saying it “not only accords with well-established common law principles, but also better protects employees and provides clear expectations to employers.”

Comments can be submitted electronically to or by mail or in person to Roxanne Rothschild, Acting Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1015 Half St. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20570-0001. Replies to comments made by Jan. 28 will be accepted until Feb. 11.

Due to the partial government shutdown, the notice of the extension is not published in the Federal Register but may be viewed here. The previous request for comments, and previously received comments, may be read here. A fact sheet about the proposed rule is online here.

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