In Huffington Post, Dave Johnson reports:
"The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Thursday that Browning Ferris Industries ... qualifies as a 'joint employer' alongside one of its subcontractors. The decision effectively loosens the standards for who can be considered a worker's boss under labor law, and its impact will be felt in any industry that relies on franchising or outsourcing work."
The implications are huge. By relying on franchisees, McDonald's was able to shift the responsibility for worker issues onto that business owner. Now, McDonald's can be dragged into labor disputes which are initiated at the franchise level. Therefore, the business model of franchising becomes less attractive.
The same blow can be delivered to players in the on-demand economy. By outsourcing work to a subcontractor through a middleman agency they could remove themselves from the burden of labor problems. Employment law is complex. Dealing with its legalities is expensive and time-consuming. Now, those middlemen, such as Manpower and UpWork, could be dragged in on worker grievances. As with franchising, no longer will this business model seem like such a cost-buster.