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Attorney General Josh Stein Opposes Trump Administration Rule Endangering the Rights of Millions of Workers

Release date: 6/25/2019

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today opposed a proposal from the U.S. Department of Labor that would narrow the interpretation of joint employment. This new proposed rule would complicate how states enforce labor laws and leave millions of workers vulnerable to labor violations.
“Every worker in North Carolina deserves to be fully protected by the law,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “And that law needs to reflect a 21st century job market. I oppose this new rule, which would leave some workers unprotected by labor laws.”
The joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act governs the liability of an employer that shares control over the terms and conditions of workers’ employment with another employer. Under the new proposed rule, joint employment would be determined by whether an employer hires or fires the employee, supervises and controls the employee’s schedule and working conditions, determines the employee’s rate and method of payment, and maintains the employee’s records.
In their letter, the coalition of 19 attorneys general contend that the proposed change does not reflect today’s workplace relationships, where businesses increasingly share employees using third-party management companies, independent contractors, staffing agencies, or other labor providers. By narrowing the scope of the joint employment, the DOL’s change will leave millions of workers vulnerable to unchecked violations of federal and state labor laws.
If the federal standard fails to encompass companies that pay for subcontracted employees while also controlling the terms of employment, the attorneys general contend that gaps in legal compliance will inevitably increase, leaving workers at greater risk of exploitation.
Attorney General Stein was joined in sending today’s comments letter by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
A copy of the letter is available here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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