Quick Notes on Recent National Labor Relations Board Developments
The year 2014 has already proven to be very active for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The following is a brief summary on some of the most recent NLRB developments:
- On January 6, 2014, the NLRB announced it would not appeal two United States Courts of Appeals’ decisions invalidating the Notice Posting Rule based on the NLRB’s lack of a quorum. Previously, the NLRB Notice Posting Rule required employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively. The “Notice of NLRA Rights,” which is still available on the NLRB website, may now be posted by employers voluntarily.
- On February 4, 2014, the NLRB announced proposed amendments to its rules in an effort to improve representation case procedures by streamlining the process by which a union is elected to represent employees. The proposed amendments would, in effect, shorten the time period between a union’s filing of a Petition for Representation and an election, making it more difficult for an employer to mount an effective counter-campaign. Employer groups are calling the new process “Ambush Elections.”
- On February 18, 2014, the NLRB entertained a representation petition filed by the Northwestern University football players to organize and join the newly created College Athletes Players Association. The University’s position is that the NLRA does not apply to full-time students. The football team’s quarterback, heading the claim for the union, contends that the players do get paid—in the form of academic and athletic scholarships and thus should be considered employees. The case is currently pending before the NLRB.
The above cases demonstrate the ever-evolving practice before the NLRB. If you have any questions concerning the “Notice of NLRA Rights,” “Ambush Elections,” or any other labor law matter, you are encouraged to contact a member of our Labor and Employment Group or any other member of the Firm whom you regularly contact.