By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

ARTBA Jan. 14 supported the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) efforts to clarify when a prime contractor has liability for the actions of a subcontractor.

To qualify for joint employer status “an employer must possess and actually exercise substantial and direct control over the essential terms and conditions of another employer’s employee in a manner that is not limited and routine,” the NLRB proposal says. This is important for transportation construction projects, which often involve multiple employers, and are typically structured with a prime contractor (or more than one in a joint venture agreement) and multiple subcontractors.

ARTBA’s comments specifically noted “the NLRB’s proposed rule will better inform prime contractors as to when they likely assume liability for the actions of a subcontractor.  This is particularly important to the transportation construction industry, which accounts for uncertainty and excessive risk by incorporating them into project costs.”

There is no timetable for the NLRB’s issuance of a final rule. ARTBA will continue to monitor this important issue.