JOINT EMPLOYERS

In a number of situations the law considers an employee to be joint- ly employed by two or more employers. As a result, both employers may be liable for discrimination or unfair labor practices, obligated to pay overtime and withhold and remit payroll taxes, or provide workers’ compensation or other benefits.

A common example of joint employment is the staffing firm that leases an employee to another business. If the business directs the staffing firm to replace the leased employee based on the employee’s race or age and the staffing firm does so, both the business and the staffing firm will be liable for discrimination.

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In another example, suppose a nurse’s aide works for two separate nursing homes that are owned in part by the same individuals. The total hours she works for both nursing homes may be aggregated in determining whether she is entitled to overtime.

In the construction industry, a prime contractor may engage a subcontractor, who in turn provides employees to the job site. If those employees perform work both for the subcontractor and the prime contractor, they may be deemed jointly employed by both entities. Similarly, franchisers may be considered as joint employers of their franchisees’ employees.

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