President Biden on Friday vetoed a congressional resolution that would have nullified the National Labor Relations Board’s recent joint employer rule, which would make it easier for organizations and their staffing providers to be found joint employers for purposes under the National Labor Relations Act. In addition, the Republican-controlled House on May 7 failed to override the veto with a 214-191 vote, well short of the two-thirds majority required to overturn a presidential veto in Congress, Bloomberg Law reported.

Despite the veto, the rule remains on hold since it was vacated by a federal judge in Texas vacated in March, and the NLRB is weighing its next steps in the case.

In his veto message on May 3, Biden said if multiple companies control the terms of employment, then the right to organize is rendered futile if workers cannot bargain collectively with each of those employers.

“Without the NLRB’s rule, companies could more easily avoid liability simply by manipulating their corporate structure, like hiding behind subcontractors or staffing agencies,” Biden said. “By hampering the NLRB’s efforts to promote the practice and procedure of collective bargaining, Republicans are siding with union-busting corporations over the needs of workers and their unions.”

The resolution, H.J. Res. 98, passed in the Senate with a 50-48 vote, with most Republicans and Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia; Kyrsten Sinema, I-Arizona; and Angus King, I-Maine, voting in favor. Other Democrats voted against the resolution along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Josh Hawley, R-Missouri. Two senators did not vote: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey.

Those criticizing the veto included the US Chamber of Commerce.

“The chamber is disappointed by the president’s veto of legislation overturning the NLRB’s joint employer rule,” Glenn Spencer, senior VP of the employment policy division at the chamber.

“The joint employer rule is the latest example of the NLRB abandoning its role as neutral administrator of the law. In this instance, the NLRB’s effort to put the thumb on scale in favor of union bosses poses a significant threat to the survival of small businesses, particularly those operating under the franchise model,” Spencer said. “That is why we are thankful that a federal judge recently blocked the rule from taking effect.”

Under the new rule, it could be easier for clients and staffing firms to be held joint employers and be obligated to bargain collectively with groups of union-represented employees, according to SIA research.

For more on the NLRB’s new rule, CWS Council members can access the North America Legal Update Q1 2024 report.