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Legislators Seek Extensive Documents About NLRB’s Policy Shifts

Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:25 am

Employers have likely noticed the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has recently issued many employer-friendly decisions.  See, for example, the decision discussed in a news digest article last week (Termination Lawful Even Though Based on a Lie); the one examined last month (NLRB Eases Risk for Employers Ousting Unions); the one that was the subject of an article in June (New Rule: Employers May Ban Union Solicitation in Company’s Public Spaces); or the case discussed in April (Obama-Era Case Defining Protected and Concerted Activity Overruled).

The trend has also caught the attention of the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives.  In a letter dated August 12, sent to Peter Robb, the General Counsel of the NLRB, the Committee expressed their concern that major shifts in the policies of the General Counsel have spurred reports that the Office of the General Counsel is significantly narrowing employers’ liability under the [National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”)] and reviving charges against unions at an unprecedented level.”

The letter goes on to request 19 broad categories of documents, including (1) a list of cases in which the Office of General Counsel has requested the Board to overrule or modify its own existing precedent, (2) any communications between the Office of the General Counsel and anyone not employed by the NLRB relating to modifying or overruling existing precedent; and (3) the number or charges filed against unions and employers each month for the past 42 months that resulted in a finding of merit and issuance of a complaint.

The Committee gave the General Counsel a deadline of September 2, 2019 to respond to the wide-ranging request.

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