NLRB Holds Public Hearing on Proposed Rules on R-Case Procedures; Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld Attorney Testifies in Defense of Modernizing

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held a public-comments hearing on its proposed amendments to modernize the NLRB’s rules on representation-case procedures (“R-Case”).  As we noted last month, the NLRB re-proposed rules it originally enacted in part in 2011 but were struck down in federal court because of procedural defects.  The NLRB withdrew its appeals and 2011 proposed rules.  It re-proposed the rule changes earlier this year.  The three Democratic-appointed members of the NLRB voted to move the proposal forward, while the two Republican-appointed members dissented.

The proposed rules would modernize R-Case procedures by, for example, allowing for the electronic filing and transmission of election petitions, election notices, and voter lists, requiring parties to state their positions prior to the start of a hearing to focus hearings on genuine issues of dispute and avoiding unnecessary litigation, and consolidating all election-related appeals to the NLRB into a single post-election appeal.  The proposed rules also contain language ordering NLRB Regional Directors to schedule election dates “as soon as practicable.”

As part of the required rulemaking process, the NLRB heard public comments from interested parties on April 10 and 11, 2014.  Employers argued that the proposed rules would lead to “ambush” elections and would violate the due-process rights of employers.  Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld attorney Caren Sencer and other union advocates argued that the NLRA was designed to protect workers and promote their right to organize so that they can collectively improve their working conditions.  In the words of Ms. Sencer, “[The NLRB] is not an agency designed to balance interests.”

The public was required to submit reply comments by April 14, 2014 to the NLRB; as of that date, 74,825 public comments were posted.  The NLRB will likely issue final rules on R-Case procedures in the coming months.

By Anthony Tucci | April 15, 2014

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