On February 3, the NLRB concluded that a construction contractor and another employer are a single employer for the purposes of back pay ordered under the NLRA.  The construction company was found to owe over $122,000 in back pay to former employees who were laid off because of union membership and activities.  The contractor went out of business but until that time leased an office in a building owned and operated by another corporation.  A husband and wife jointly owned 100% of the construction company and each of them owns 50% of the company which owns the building in which the contractor leased an office.  Even though the other company was never involved in the construction industry, the NLRB concluded that they constituted a single employer because of common management and common ownership.  This ruling follows the January 16 ruling by a federal court in California that two additional companies under the common control of one individual were jointly liable for the $1.7 million that the owner owes for his withdrawal from a multi-employer pension fund.  In that case, the federal judge found that the two additional companies appeared to have "income and business dealings related to the construction business" like the other liable companies were engaged in at the time of withdrawal.  These two decisions, taken together, remind construction industry employers that the issues of single employer status, joint liability and common control are very important when it comes to liability matters under both the NLRA and ERISA.  Construction industry employers with more than one corporation should be careful to study those issues in detail with their attorney and accountant.                                By Jerry Pigsley