Spending bill gives labor board pass on 'joint employer' rule

The government spending bill does not include a provision sought by conservatives and business groups to prevent the National Labor Relations Board, the main federal labor law enforcement agency, from implementing a new rule that would vastly expand legal liability for corporations.

Known as the board's "joint employer" rule, it would dramatically lower the standard for when a business is considered responsible for labor law violations at another business it is affiliated with.

Business associations had lobbied hard against the rule, arguing that the expanded liability would force companies to stop franchising their brands. Conservative lawmakers pushed for legislation and had hoped to include it in an appropriations bill.

The omnibus bill released late Tuesday includes no such provision. The bill calls for $274 million in funding for the board, matching the previous year. Conservative groups such as Heritage Action cited it as one of the reasons lawmakers should oppose the bill.

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