Nissan employee leases are becoming increasingly common across the US, as workers’ union members are asking for a more robust protection for the rights of their colleagues.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced new guidelines that would allow workers to file a complaint if they feel their employer has violated a workplace rights.
The agency has also updated its regulations for employee use of email.
But while the agency is giving workers more flexibility in handling their employee lease disputes, the agency isn’t making it easy to find a qualified employer for an employee lease.
“It’s still a work in progress, and it’s still in a very early phase,” said Matt Riggs, a labor policy expert at the Center for American Progress.
“But I think the changes that have been made are a start.”
The agency’s rules were recently updated to clarify that employees can file a grievance and the agency will respond to those complaints in writing.
However, there’s still no clear legal definition of what constitutes an employee’s rights under the lease.
Riggs also pointed out that the DOL is only now considering how employees should respond to a lease issue.
The new regulations don’t address whether employees should use an alternative provider of employee services like a social media platform or an online job board, which could mean more discretion for employees in how to handle their lease dispute.
Riggers noted that the agency’s new rules may be too lenient for some employees.
For example, he pointed to a case from New York where a manager at a hotel who didn’t sign the lease was fired for “not being responsive to a written request from a union.”
Riggs added that employees have been more likely to file complaints when they are angry or upset about their employer.
He said the DUL has been making “a big effort” to address that.
The DOL has also announced that it will give employees the right to request a written hearing before they file a lease dispute in certain circumstances, including if they have an injured worker.
The DOL said in its notice that employees should also have access to written testimony from a law enforcement official, a physician, or an attorney.
But some workers are asking the agency to make those changes easier.
“We think there’s an opportunity here for people to be able to get some clarity about what’s going on and who’s in charge of it,” Riggs said.
“The fact that the labor department is making this change so quickly, is going to make it very difficult for employees to come forward with any complaints.”