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Worker Safety Concerns Amid Change in U.S. Labour Rule

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A new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule giving companies control over the provision of crucial working conditions for franchise and contract workers, could negatively affect the workers’ ability to request for the essential equipment and safety measures needed in the fight against the coronavirus. The rule, which was published in the agency’s register in February, took effect on April 27.

The rule says companies can be considered “joint employers” if the companies have direct control over the worker’s essential working conditions. Initially, companies were deemed to be joint employers if they had indirect control over the essential working conditions.

Contract employees working in America’s fast-food restaurants, warehouses, and hospitals may now be faced with many challenges in their attempt to request for protective gear and other safety conditions during the fight against the global pandemic Covid-19.

The worker’s advocates and unions have criticized the move as it excludes safety and health from the list of necessary conditions for companies to be considered a joint employer.

The joint employer standard rule change has been sought for many years by companies like McDonald’s Corp. and many others that hire franchise workers or contract employees.

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