A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed rule will clarify who has to be at the bargaining table during union negotiations, which would include a "joint employer"—a company that directly controls another entity's workers. A joint employer, for example, might be a contractor or franchisor.

The proposed rule provides numerous examples of what is meant by "direct control."

The broader the definition of joint employer, the more potential liability there is for more companies, added Steven Suflas, an attorney with Ballard Spahr in Denver.

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