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CNN, Unions And Labor Board At Odds Over Joint-Employer Rule

Federal labor board officials announced Monday they rejected a request by CNN to reconsider a ruling that it is part owner of a company it contracts with.

“In its motion, CNN repeats its arguments that prior certifications, collective-bargaining agreements, and bargaining history preclude a finding that it is the joint employer of bureau employees nominally employed by Team Video Services (TVS),” the National Labor Relations Board detailed in its ruling.

Under the National Labor Relations Act a company can be considered an employer over a company it contracts with if it has significant enough control over the employees. Known as the joint-employer standard, the rule helps to resolve labor disputes when it’s not clear whether the dispute arose from decisions made by the direct employer or a larger corporation it contracts with.

“It is ordered that the general counsel’s motion to Correct Discriminatee Names in the board order is granted,” the NLRB ruling added. “It is futher ordered that the respondent’s motion for reconsideration/reopening is denied.”

Recently, the NLRB gained significant criticism from business leaders for applying a broader standard to the joint-employer rule. The change has resulted in companies that would have not been considered a joint-employers previously now being classified as one.

“CNN disagrees with the NLRB’s decision and has an appeal filed in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals,” a spokesperson for the news outlet told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Communications Workers of America was quick to praise the NLRB for its decision to reject the challenge.

“At issue is last September’s NLRB decision ordering CNN to compensate more than 300 employees who lost jobs and wages following the company’s phony reorganization to get rid of NABET-CWA-represented workers in Washington, D.C., and New York City,” CWA declared in a press release. “The NLRB had found that CNN and TVS were joint employers and CNN violated U.S. labor law by terminating its contracting relationship with TVS in December 2003.”

“Meanwhile, the workers continue to wait,” the press release continued. “A number of their colleagues have passed away as this case slowly made its way through the NLRB process. Workers have lost their homes, gone bankrupt and struggled to pay their medical bills.”

“It ordered CNN to rehire about 100 workers fired in the 2003 reorganization and compensate about 200 more employees who stayed with the company without the benefits of a union contract,” it concluded. “The order also called on CNN to resume bargaining with NABET-CWA Local 11 and NABET-CWA Local 31.”

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