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Amidst the boom in employment litigation that has defined the years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, joint employer liability has remained in the shadows. Employers understand all too well the scope of their potential liabilities to current “employees,” often taking the form of back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, etc. Often overlooked, however, are the significant pitfalls that may exist in alternative staffing arrangements or in relationships with business partners.

Merely recognizing where potential joint employer relationships exist is often enough to take simple preventive measures to avoid joint employer liability before it strikes. However, most employers fail to examine their relationships to assess joint employer potential. They do so at their peril.

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