Labor Board Has Yet To Issue Significant Decisions Under Biden – Why?

It has been roughly six months since President Biden cemented a majority on the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and we’ve got but to see a serious precedent-altering determination issued. Why? A brand new report, Biden Labor Board Progress Slowed by Covid, Briefing Speed Bumps, from Bloomberg affords some perception. 

Based on the report, “The Biden NLRB has been moving at a deliberate pace, calling for comments from outside parties in five cases in which it’s considering changes to board law. The comment period for its most recent invitation for briefs, which deals with mandatory arbitration agreements, closed March 21. The Trump board in 2017 dashed out of the gate with a series of five precedent-setting decisions less than three months after Republicans formed a majority. None of those cases were open to public briefing. The board is reconsidering two of those rulings.”

Bloomberg goes on to say, “The NLRB received $274 million in annual funding in the spending bill signed into law last week, the same amount it has received since 2014. Eight straight years of flat funding has led to staffing shortages that have impeded the board’s early progress on setting new labor law precedents, said NLRB spokeswoman Kayla Blado. Other obstacles include the Covid-19 pandemic, which has raised administrative challenges as well as the need to address virus-related legal issues; the lingering impact of former member William Emanuel participating in cases despite alleged conflicts of interest, which has divided the board; and a large share of the board’s caseload still reflecting the priorities of Peter Robb, the prior general counsel…”

In different phrases, there are a large number of things which will clarify why we’ve seen some delay relative to prior boards in making a shift towards new coverage. In any occasion, employers ought to count on important change as soon as the NLRB begins issuing precedent-shifting selections – at any time when that could be.

However, whereas the NLRB will not be shifting as rapidly as some anticipated, the company’s basic counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, has been very energetic.  She has indicated she desires to make changes in labor law on various fronts, together with using everlasting replacements in strikes, employer communications throughout union campaigns, and rather more. She additionally has altered how regional NLRB offices approach settlement of circumstances – insisting on extra onerous phrases – and expanded the types of penalties her workplace could search when prosecuting violations of the Nationwide Labor Relations Act.

Backside line: Labor regulation adjustments are underway – even when the velocity at which we initially thought they’d come isn’t fairly occurring.

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