With the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officially rescinding the joint employer standard developed during the Trump administration – a new standard becomes effective next Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – one would think the issue was off the radar. That is not the case however, as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed suit in a Washington DC federal court last week seeking to have the court invalidate the Trump-era standard. That standard provided that one test to determine joint employer status was whether the corporate entity exercised control over a franchisee’s employees. It was not enough for the franchisor to have the ability to control, but rather they had to exercise that control. SEIU’s complaint uses the ongoing COVID pandemic to paint the issue as a public health issue and points to the determination by the Inspector General that one of the NLRB members deciding the issue was conflicted and therefore should have recused himself. Further, it alleges that standard shielded franchisors from having to bargain with unions. Not being an attorney, my speculation is that SEIU is using their complaint as a vehicle to resurrect their push to unionize franchise businesses and at the same time, forestall the possibility of the NLRB returning to the Trump standard at a future date (read: republican control of the NLRB).