• The U.S. House of Representatives passed The Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, H.R. 2587, by a vote of 236-186. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., would preclude the NLRB from forcing an employer to relocate, shut down, or transfer employment under any circumstance. The bill was introduced shortly after the NLRB’s complaint against Boeing, alleging that the company committed an unfair labor practice by relocating its assembly line from Washington to a nonunion facility in South Carolina. The Senate Appropriations Committee, however, rejected a similar measure which was included in an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill.
  • The NLRB’s associate counsel, Ann. G. Purcell, issued a guidance memorandum on the board’s regulation, effective January 31, 2012, requiring employers to notify employees of their rights under the NLRA. She also gave regional offices a set of frequently asked questions and corresponding answers for their use in addressing public inquiries about the regulation. Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Az., has introduced legislation, H.R. 2833, in the House which calls for the repeal of the regulation and provides that the NLRB shall not promulgate or enforce any rule requiring the posting of notices relating to the Act.
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., introduced legislation—The National Labor Relations Reorganization Act—in the House, which would abolish the NLRB. The Act shifts responsibility for union representation cases to the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. The Act would also transfer the responsibility for the prevention of unfair labor practices to a newly created Bureau of Labor Management Enforcement under the Justice Department.
  • On September 22, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives had a hearing titled, “Culture of Union Favoritism: Recent Actions of the [NLRB].”  The hearing was in response to the NLRB’s new workplace notice rule, as well as three recent pro-union decisions—Lamons Gasket Co., UGL-Unicco Service Co., and Specialty Healthcare LLC. During the hearing, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. criticized the recent workplace notice rule, arguing that such a rule exceeds the NLRB’s statutory authority.
  • The American Bar Association (ABA) submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), urging it to reconsider a proposed rule announced in June 2011, that would narrow the scope of the agency’s interpretation of the term “advice” in “persuader activities” reporting requirements of Section 203 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). Under the proposed rule, lawyers who provide both legal advice to employers and engage in “persuader activities” would have to file periodic reports, requiring the disclosure of confidential client information. The ABA asked the DOL to preserve the status quo, which exempts lawyers from such reporting requirements.
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., introduced the Protecting American Jobs Act, H.R. 2978 in the House. The legislation would eliminate the administrative litigation of unfair labor practices, as well as the NLRB’s ability to seek injunctive relief. The legislation seeks to replace NLRB proceedings with civil lawsuits in federal district courts. The NLRB would still have the ability, however, to investigate unfair labor practices. The legislation is partly a response to the NLRB’s highly controversial complaint against Boeing Co.
  • A House Appropriations Committee draft funding bill cuts the NLRB’s spending authority in fiscal year 2012 by 17 percent from the original budget request. The draft bill also prevents the NLRB from spending its funds on six activities, including implementing recent rulemaking proposals and exercising jurisdiction over small businesses.