It appears that 2011 may be an extremely active year for the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") with several key initiatives expected to be addressed. A top priority this year is reportedly working through the backlog of cases resulting from the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in New Process Steel, L.P. v. NLRB, which invalidated a plethora of cases decided by a two-member Board. In addition, the NLRB is likely to consider and decide a number of cases in which it has invited interested parties to submit briefs and render decisions in several of the oldest cases remaining on its docket.
Rulemaking and remedial efforts represent additional areas of focus for 2011. Specific rules and initiatives likely to be addressed include the December 22, 2010 notice of proposed rulemaking which would require every employer who is subject to the National Labor Relations Act (the "Act") to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Act, challenging state constitutional amendments regulating union elections, a commitment to seek effective remedies for unfair labor practices committed during organizing campaigns, a new approach to the deference the NLRB should afford to arbitration awards and grievance settlements in unfair labor practice cases, and working to develop a new standard for determining whether an alleged victim of an unfair labor practice reasonably mitigated his or her financial losses through a reasonable search for work.