Donald Trump’s conflict-of-interest-plagued National Labor Relations Board handed McDonald’s a big win in the fight over whether the company shares responsibility for workers and working conditions in most of its restaurants. The board allowed a $170,000 settlement between McDonald’s franchisees and workers, overruling an administrative law judge who had said the settlement was inadequate.
The lone Democrat on the NLRB dissented, saying that the judge “reasonably exercised her discretion to reject settlements that fail to resolve the joint-employer status of McDonald’s, and instead serve to advance the policy view of the current General Counsel, who has attacked the Board’s current joint-employer standard at every opportunity as he litigated this case brought by his predecessor.”
Under Trump, the NLRB has moved to let companies like McDonald’s off the hook as a joint employer of workers who work in their facilities but on paper are employed by franchisees, temp services, or other third parties. McDonald’s notoriously exerts tight control over every detail in its restaurants, including details about workers, yet claims not to be their employer when it comes to labor law violations and other problems. And the Trump NLRB agrees.
This article was originally published at Daily Kos on December 14, 2019. Reprinted with permission.