Purple Communications No More? A Look Back at the Landmark Case and Ahead to What May Take Its Place

On August 1, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invited briefs on “whether the Board should adhere to, modify, or overrule its 2014 decision in Purple Communications, Inc.” The following questions and answers revisit Purple Communications and examine the standard the NLRB may return to if it does indeed overrule that landmark case.

NLRB Reverses Controversial BFI Joint Employer Standard

Just hours before Chairman Miscimarra’s tenure is to end, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued two decisions with sweeping impact. Together, they overturn many of the Obama Board’s most controversial decisions that radically departed from decades-long precedent under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). We will discuss the Board’s decision regarding employer policies in another article. Our subject here is the Board’s decision yesterday that overturned the 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries case.

NLRB Finds Joint Employer Status Can Exist Merely Based on Indirect or Potential Control

Overturning decades of precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), on August 27, 2015, issued its long-awaited decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, 362 NLRB No. 186 (August 27, 2015). The decision establishes a new standard for determining when two entities are a single “joint employer” over a group of workers.