New Memo Reveals NLRB Is Considering Procedural Changes Potentially Beneficial to Employers

The National Labor Relations Board is considering modifying its case processing procedures in ways that could benefit employers, according to an internal NLRB memorandum obtained by the paid subscription service Bloomberg Law.

The National Labor Relations Board is considering modifying its case processing procedures in ways that could benefit employers, according to an internal NLRB memorandum obtained by the paid subscription service Bloomberg Law. On January 29th, Beth Tursell, the Board’s Associate to the General Counsel, sent NLRB regional officials a “case processing memo” she called a “draft summary of suggestions” from all levels of the organization. Tursell reports to Peter Robb, who was appointed by President Trump as the Board’s General Counsel.

The proposals in the memorandum include:

  • Reducing the designated time for many types of investigations.
  • Allowing parties only two business days to cure defects in charges or other information to be filed, under threat of dismissal.
  • Providing NLRB field officers more latitude to dismiss and settle charges.
  • Emphasizing “in all respects… [e]arly resolution of cases, through withdrawal, dismissal or bilateral settlement.”
  • Allowing an investigator and supervisor to dismiss cases, approve informal settlements, and withdraw a union’s complaint of an unfair labor practice without approval by their regional director.

Several weeks before this memo was issued, General Counsel Robb informed the NLRB’s 26 regional directors that he was considering a restructuring of their roles and the regional office system, perhaps in favor of establishing a broader district model. It is expected that at a minimum, any major restructuring such as this must be approved by the five-member NLRB. As of now, the Board has two Republican members and two Democrat appointees. The President recently nominated Republican John Ring to serve on the Board, but Mr. Ring has not been confirmed by the Senate.

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