Although it should come as a surprise to nobody involved in the franchise business model, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is resurrecting the Obama-era joint employer standard that caused much angst within the industry. The agency has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, published in the Federal Register on Wednesday of this week, that would replace the 2020 rule. That 2020 standard provided that an employer could be a joint employer of another entity only if it had direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment of the other entity’s workers. The new proposed rule provides that merely having the ability or the right to exercise control over an essential term or condition or employment is sufficient, even if that right is never exercised. In other words, employers need only “possess the authority to control” terms and conditions to be deemed a joint employer. The 2020 rule, implemented by the Trump administration appointees to the NLRB, required “substantial, direct and immediate” control in order for joint employer to be triggered. The proposed rule is being pushed strongly by NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo and will likely be challenged in court. The public comment period on the proposed rule is open for the next 60 days, closing on November 7, 2022. Comments may be submitted through or by mail or hand delivery to: Roxanne L. Rothschild, Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1015 Half Street SE, Washington, DC 20570-0001.