Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board vacated its December decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors. (Ben and Sharon had called for this action in OnLabor last week here and here.) The Board’s unusual action follows a finding by the Board’s Inspector General that Member Bill Emanuel should have recused himself from participation in the case. The Board noted in its press release that because Hy-Brand had been vacated, “the overruling of the Board’s decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), set forth therein is of no force or effect.”
The Board’s action was a welcome first step in correcting the damage done by the Hy-Brand decision. Most importantly, for the time being, the Board will determine joint employer status using the standard set forth in Browning-Ferris – a standard that takes into account the reality of today’s fissured workplaces. Beyond that important restoration, however, the Board’s one sentence order vacating Hy-Brand leaves many questions about the future unanswered.