A recent National Labor Relations Board ruling could change what it means to be an employee.
Labor experts think the recent decision could bring sweeping changes in worker organization.
Under previous labor rules, workers labeled as contract or temporary workers, did not enjoy the same benefits as full employees.
“Effectively those terms have been abused in order for companies to be able to bring in cheaper labor that they don’t have to pay benefits to,” says Lisa Blomgren Amsler, a professor of public service at Indiana University.
The recent NLRB ruling against Browning-Ferris Industries could give those workers the right to sit at the bargaining table.
It could also make parent companies liable for disputes with workers at franchise stores.
However, these disputes might not lead to any change.
“The fines for unfair labor practices are still so low, that large companies like Wal-Mart, like McDonald’s, actually consider them another cost of business,” says Joseph Varga, an associate professor with IU Labor Studies.
The NLRB ruling could also still be challenged in court.