Lafe Solomon, Acting General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, has short-cut the procedure by which regional offices can seek "extraordinary" remedies for unfair labor practices connected with first-time contracts. Previously, requests for these additional remedies had to be submitted to the Board's Division of Advice, but now many such requests can be pursued by the regional offices without additional approval.
After a study of unfair labor practices arising out of first contract bargaining, former NLRB General Counsel Ronald Meisburg found that employees were highly susceptible to unfair labor practices intended to undermine support for their bargaining representatives. Meisburg directed Regional Offices to submit to the Board's Division of Advice all cases involving unfair labor practices committed during bargaining for, or attempts to bargain for, an initial contract. The Board of Advice would then determine whether additional remedial measures – including requiring employers to bargain on mandated schedules, extending the certification year, and reimbursing unions for some bargaining costs – should be pursued.
Now, Solomon has concluded that Regional Offices should be authorized to seek such remedial measures in many cases without having to obtain prior clearance from the Division of Advice: (1) for NLRB notices to be read to employees by a management official; (2) for extending the certification year up to 12 months; and (3) for requiring 24-hour-per-month/6-hour-per-session bargaining schedules. Requests for union reimbursement for bargaining or litigation expenses must still be submitted to the Division of Advice.