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Florida Labor & Employment Lawyer > Blog > Employment Law > Florida Court Finds Company Not a “Joint Employer” in Workplace Dispute

Florida Court Finds Company Not a “Joint Employer” in Workplace Dispute


On January 29th, 2024, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida declined to find a company a “joint employer” in a workplace dispute. In the case of Williams v. R.T.G. Furniture Corp., the court found that the two employers at issue—R.T.G. Furniture Corp. and SE Independent Delivery Services, Inc. (SEIDS)—are not joint employers. In this article, you will find a more detailed overview of the decision and the implications for employment law in Florida.

Case Analysis: Williams v. R.T.G. Furniture Corp. 


A “joint employer” is a legal designation that has significant implications for companies. The “joint employer” concept arises when two or more entities share control over a worker’s terms and conditions of employment—such as hiring, firing, and supervision. It matters because it determines the responsibilities and liabilities of each employer regarding employment laws and regulations.


R.T.G. Furniture Corp. (RTG) is a furniture store chain. It owns and operates a distribution center in Lakeland, Florida. Tony Williams worked within that distribution center. However, Mr. Williams was employed by a logistics contractor called SE Independent Delivery Services, Inc. (SEIDS). RTG and SEIDS are wholly separated companies, with different corporate structures and management. That being said, they are related in key ways. SEIDS operates out of distribution facilities that are owned and operated by RTG and it works closely with the company. After Mr. Williams was terminated by his employer (SEIDS), he filed a claim against both companies based on alleged joint employer status.

 Legal Issue 

The core legal issue before the court was whether or not RTG and SEIDS were joint employers of Mr. Williams. The assessment  hinged on the degree of control RTG has over SEIDS employees’ terms and conditions of employment. Indeed, the legal standard for “joint employer” status involves an evaluation of the nature and degree of control one company exerts over the work and working conditions of another company’s employees. If the two companies are deemed joint employers, Mr. Williams could pursue his wrongful termination claim against both entities. Otherwise, his sole legal claim would be against SEIDS.


Upon review, the Florida court determined that these two companies did not constitute joint employers for the purposes of the law. Notably, the court emphasized in its decision that the two entities simply did not exercise sufficient control over the employees—and the terms and conditions of employment—of the other. Notably, Mr. Williams actually received paychecks with the RTG logo on them and these two companies had been related in the past. However, because there was no evidence of control over actual hiring, firing, and terms/conditions of the employees of the other company, the court did not impose joint employer status.

Get Help From an Employment Lawyer in Florida 

Employment law is complicated—especially so when joint employer issues are in play. If you have any questions about joint employer regulations, please do not hesitate to contact a Florida employment law attorney for help.

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