The Republican-controlled National Labor Relations Board moved quicklylast week to overturn a host of Obama-era panel decisions. The board adopted amore narrow definition of “joint employer,” took steps to undosped-up union elections and voided wide-reaching changes toemployee-handbook policies.

“What is striking is the rapidity with which these majordecisions overruling precedent, some involving reversal ofprecedent and others that reconsider the rulemaking, for majordeliberative matters,” said Wilma Liebman, a former Democratic NLRBmember who once served as chairwoman. “They clearly came to theboard knowing what they wanted to do.”

Here’s a look at some of the bigdevelopments from the week.

What happened last week and why was it important?

The NLRB’s decision in 2015 in the case Browning-FerrisIndustries v. NLRB was one of the most divisive ofthe Obama-era labor board. The ruling widened the definition of whois considered an employer when it comes to labor violations,collective bargaining and other benefits. Companies did notlike Browning-Ferris, a ruling that essentially putchains and big companies on the hook for franchises andcontractors.

The business community said it went too far. Workers’ rightsgroups said it ensured protections for contractors and employeeswho often fell through the cracks.The labor board, in a decision issued Thursday night, will moveforward with a new standard that defines an employer as one with“direct” control rather “indirect,” rolling back the 2015 decision.McDonald’s Corp. has a big case pending for an administrative lawjudge surrounding the question of indirect control, and it remainsto be seen what will now happen with that case, for example, giventhe new directive.

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