On Monday, Eastern Fisheries Inc., a global supplier of seafood based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, declared its plans to move away from staffing firms and employ workers directly. The decision was made after a National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) case in which one staffing firm employee filed a charge of unfair labor practice against Eastern Fisheries. In response to the NRLB determination that Eastern Fisheries was a joint employer with the staffing firm, the company decided to end all ties with the staffing firm.

Joe Furtado, executive VP of Eastern Fisheries, noted the changes were not made abruptly, with a two-month notice period for the affected employees to apply for direct hire with the company. The American Staffing Association (ASA) noted in a statement that joint employment has been around a while and that the flexibility and efficiency of staffing outweigh any potential joint employment concerns.

However, according to SeafoodSource, 110 staffing employees were affected, and only five were rehired, creating controversy around the move. Eastern Fisheries ensured that all former staffing firm employees were able to apply for a direct position, with equal pay and a better benefits package than before.