NLRB staff protested the Board for the second time in the current Board’s first year. The employees protested and handed out leaflets outside an American Bar Association conference in San Francisco, claiming the Board is making more cuts to pay and benefits, even after ending the fiscal year with a budget surplus. The protesters are represented by the NLRB Professional Association, the union representing workers at the board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the protests came after terminating its contract with the NLRBPA.

NLRB Member William Emanuel (R) was cleared to participate in drafting a new joint employer regulation after there were concerns about his former law firm’s ties to the issue. The NLRB ethics officer determined that Emanuel does not have to recuse himself from the Board’s rulemaking process on franchiser and staffing company liability, even though his former law firm, Littler Mendelson, represents a staffing company in a separate but related case. As Chairman John Ring explained, “The recusal standard for rulemaking is very different than for cases,” and members do not have to recuse themselves from drafting regulations that will apply broadly across the country.

The Treasury Department approved the Teamsters Local 805 Pension and Retirement Plan’s request to reduce benefits, beginning in January. Although a majority of members who voted on the proposal rejected it, unreturned ballots count as a vote in favor of the reduction, and fewer than half of the Local 805 members voted. One thousand, nine hundred and twenty-nine members were sent ballots. Five hundred thirty-five members voted against the cuts, 296 voted in favor of them, and 1,098 ballots were unreturned.