Just in case you thought that because of budget cuts and a Republican majority that the National Labor Relations Board was going to slow down its enforcement efforts, think again.
In late June, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb directed the board’s 26 regional offices to aggressively continue pursuing temporary injunctions in regard to unfair labor practices.
Federal law authorizes the NLRB to seek temporary injunctions in federal district courts against employers and unions while a case is being litigated before the board’s own administrative law judges.
“Employers should be mindful of this initiative and, as always, prepared to defend against a possible injunction, especially in those categories of cases identified by Robb as appropriate for such extraordinary relief,” warns Howard Wexler, an attorney with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw.
The board touted the fact that in his first six months in office, Robb sent 11 cases to the board and received authorization to proceed in all of them.
Robb is targeting unfair labor practices that may lead to “remedial failure,” including discharges that occur during an organizing campaign, and cases involving a successor firm’s refusal to bargain or refusal to hire employees of the previous owner.
Also on the list are violations that occur during the period following certification when management and unions should be attempting to negotiate their first collective-bargaining agreement.
Robb stresses that it is of utmost importance forregions expedite processing of any case that raises a threat of irreparable harm or remedial failure. He notes that the “threshold for proving a violation to a district court is very low” and “it doesn’t serve the NLRB’s purposes to delay seeking an injunction.”