The NLRB recently issued an updated “Bench Book” for its administrative law judges (ALJs) to use during NLRB administrative trials. The Bench Book is used as a reference guide by ALJs for evidentiary and procedural issues, and it includes references to NLRB precedent that may affect proceedings. The last version of the Bench Book was issued in 2010, so the 2015 version has nearly five years of case law updates, as it has case cites through late Summer 2015.
The 2015 Bench Book also has reorganized its chapter on “Evidence” to more closely follow the Federal Rules of Evidence, and it contains several new chapters on various subjects, including the Hearing Record and Supplemental or Related Proceedings.
The Bench Book is available on the NLRB’s website for anyone interested in seeing it. Accordingly, any employer preparing for a NLRB trial should, at a minimum, review chapters relevant to their proceedings, and likely should print a copy and have it readily available at the proceedings so it can be referenced in the event any unanticipated evidentiary or procedural issues emerge. A link to the NLRB’s press release on the Bench Book as well as the Bench Book itself can be found here.