The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) recently decided that a company whose workers were supplied by an employee leasing company is a "joint employer" because they have the potential to exercise control over those workers' wages and working conditions. The impact of this decision is far-reaching, as many employers have turned to employee leasing companies to avoid responsibility for workers such as reporting wages and employment taxes.Employee leasing is a contractual arrangement where the leasing company is the official employer of the "leased workers." The leasing company then leases these workers to the business for a price agreed to in the contract. The leasing company is then responsible for managing compliance with state and federal regulations, payroll, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and other paperwork.
Up until the recent decision, the NLRB's test to determine who the official employer was centered on who had "direct and immediate" control over the workers. Under that test, the employee leasing company would be considered the official employer, and would be the one responsible for negotiating with the workers' union. With the new decision by the NLRB, the union will now be able to collectively bargain with the business owner who leases them from the leasing company.
While Florida is a right to work state, meaning you can not be required to join a union or pay dues as a condition of your employment, and therefore has a very weak union presence, the impact of this decision is still far reaching. The NLRB now treating the business owner as the employer of leased workers, only requiring the potential to exercise control, shows a positive trend in removing the business owners' ability to avoid liability or responsibility by simply pointing to the leasing company as the one responsible. Removal of this ability will lead to better working conditions for all workers as the business owner will no longer be able to effectively control the working conditions and simultaneously avoid responsibility for those decisions.
Controversial NLRB Ruling Could End Contract Employment As We Know It
The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued a decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states. The Obergefell decision has made a large impact in all aspects of the Federal government, especially in the Social Security arena. A prior Supreme Court decision in 2013 opened the door for same-sex couples to apply for spousal and survivor benefits, but only in states which recognize their union. The Obergefell decision has now made it so states such as Florida, who has traditionally refused to recognize the union of same sex spouses, may no longer be a bar to same-sex couples applying for Social Security benefits.
As mentioned in the previous post, Social Security Benefits for Spouses, in certain circumstances, individuals can apply for Social Security Disability or Retirement under the earnings records of their spouses. Now, with the Obergefell decision, same-sex spouses can apply for Social Security Disability benefits under the earnings record of their spouse, even if they live in a state who does not recognize their union.
However, there are drawbacks to this decision and its effect on Social Security, namely for those applying for or receiving Social Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits. In order to be eligible for SSI benefits, the applicant must show they they have "limited resources." For the Social Security Administration, "limited resources" means the individual may not have assets (such as cash, bank accounts, cars, etc.) which collectively amount to more than $2,000 or $3,000, if married. The Obergefell decision has resulted in the Social Security Administration now considering the assets of the same-sex marriage as a whole, as opposed to only looking to the individual applying.
Additionally, if your spouse is earning an income then Social Security will attribute some of their income to you, the individual receiving SSI benefits. So in same-sex couples where the spouse is earning income, the individual receiving SSI benefits may have those reduced based on the income that Social Security "deems" to them from their spouse's earnings.
If you have questions regarding your claim for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, contact us today.