Sanitary Truck Drivers v. NLRB, No. 21-1093 (D.C. Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Intervenor Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. (“Browning-Ferris”) operates a recycling plant in Milpitas, California, where it employs about 60 workers. Browning-Ferris contracts with Leadpoint Business Services (“Leadpoint”), which provides BrowningFerris with approximately 240 additional recyclery workers. Petitioner Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Local 350, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (the “Union”) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) to represent Leadpoint’s recyclery workers, asserting that Browning-Ferris and Leadpoint are joint employers of Leadpoint’s workers.
The Union petitioned the DC Circuit to vacate two of the NLRB’s recent orders, in which the Board declined to hold Browning-Ferris to be a joint employer under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “Act”). The DC Circuit granted the Union’s petition. The court explained that the Board failed to establish that Browning-Ferris represented the kind of clear departure from longstanding and settled law that the agency said justified its retroactivity conclusion. Further, the court wrote that the Board erred in holding that there was “no variation or explanation” of the joint-employer test in Browning-Ferris I that would not result in manifest injustice. The Board failed to explain how it would be a manifest injustice for the Board to consider all of those factors here in light of the agency’s assertion in its 2020 rulemaking that it had previously considered reserved and indirect control in assessing joint-employer status.