On Friday, February 19, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board invited interested individuals and organizations to file amicus briefs on two important legal issues where the Board is considering overturning existing precedent.

In one case, King Soopers, Inc., NLRB, No. 27-CA-129598 (2/19/16), the NLRB’s General Counsel has asked the Board to change its long-standing practice of awarding discriminatees with expenses incurred when seeking new employment only when the discriminatee received interim earnings. Currently, the NLRB only awards reasonable search-for-work and interim employment expenses when the discriminatee receives interim earnings. However, the General Counsel is now seeking to expand the types of cases where discriminatees can be awarded such expenses to cover situations where discriminates do not receive any interim earnings. In other words, the General Counsel wants to re-write the law so that if a terminated employee searches for new work and incurs costs in the process, but does not find new work, the employer should still be liable for those expenses. The deadline to file an amicus brief with the Board is March 18, 2016.

In the second case, U.S. Postal Serv., NLRB, No. 7-CA-142926 (2/19/16), the NLRB is seeking amicus briefs concerning whether the Board should allow administrative law judges (ALJs) to issue “consent orders,” subject to review by the Board, settling unfair labor practice cases where no party other than the Respondent has agreed to the terms of the settlement, and over the objection of the General Counsel. Current Board practice permits ALJs to bless settlements without approval of the General Counsel or other parties. The General Counsel is asking the Board to reverse precedent by not permitting ALJs to settle cases over the objection of the General Counsel, even if the ALJ believes that the Respondent’s settlement offer better effectuates the purposes of the NLRA than continuing to litigate the case. Similarly, the due date to file briefs with the Board on this issue is March 18, 2016.