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Philip Miscimarra, a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, speaking during a panel discussion Thursday at the Federalist Society’s annual lawyers’ convention in Washington. Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi / NLJ

Two former National Labor Relations Board officials argued Thursday in Washington over how federal regulators should resolve open questions about “joint employer” relationships between companies that could expose contractors and franchisees to liabilities for workplace violations.

The federal labor board, led by former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partner John Ring, is revisiting the Obama-era agency’s expansion of the definition of “joint employment” through a rulemaking process. Business advocates bemoaned that expansion, suing over the board decision and advocating for federal legislation to put in place a business-friendly definition that would reduce scenarios where one company is held responsible for labor claims arising from contractors and franchisees.

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