The five members of the NLRB told an American Bar Association committee that the fast pace of Board case decisions issued since the beginning of January 2014 will continue for the foreseeable future. With its first full five-member Board in almost a decade, the NLRB published 19 decisions in January 2014. The Board also stated that it planned on having a bigger presence in social media and public relations by issuing more press releases, increasing activity on sites like Twitter, and possibly pursuing search engine optimization. Although the Board said it would look into possible rule-making options regarding employer social media policies, it stated more guidance in that area was likely to come from case decisions.
In a 3-2 vote, the NLRB re-proposed controversial changes to the rules and regulations governing union representation-case procedures. The Board claims that the new rules would modernize processes, enhance transparency, and eliminate unnecessary litigation and delay in more effectively and efficiently administering the NLRA. Opponents call the changes “ambush election rules,” claim the new rules violate the NLRA, exceed the Board statutory rule-making authority, and violate the Constitution. The proposed changes would: allow for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents; ensure the employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation process; streamline pre- and post-election procedures to facilitate agreement and eliminate unnecessary litigation; include telephone numbers and email addresses in voter lists to enable parties to the election to be able to communicate with voters using modern technology; and consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process. View the briefing, NLRB Proposes Amendments to Union Election Rules ►
NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin issued a memorandum to regional offices that listed the types of cases that he will expect Regions to submit to the agency’s headquarters for guidance. The memorandum updated the list of matters that are mandatory for the NLRB’s regional offices to submit to the Division of Advice, and highlights the types of cases considered priorities to the General Counsel’s office. The purpose of the mandatory list is the help the Board issue consistent guidance. To that end, the memorandum asks for cases that are on the cutting edge of Board interpretation of the Act, as wells as cases that could serve as vehicles for arguments against existing Board precedent. Some types of cases on the list include those involving the issue of whether employees have a right under the Act to use an employer’s email system, the non-union employee’s rights to have representatives present during an investigatory interviews by an employer, whether a perfectly clear successor should have an obligation to bargain with the union before setting initial terms of employment, and an employer’s refusal to furnish information related to relocation.