Jennifer Abruzzo, general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, has extended her domain to include immigration issues.
Since taking office, she has blazed a path with a series of pro-union decisions and policy pronouncements to the extent that the unmistakable impression is that Abruzzo is actually leading the board, not the current board members.
Her latest act was to issue a memo to all of the NLRB’s regional directors, officers-in-charge and resident officers about how to advance immigrant worker protections to freely exercise their federal labor rights under the National Labor Relations Act and safely participate in board investigations.
The protocol is representative of Abruzzo’s effort to ensure immigrant workers can freely exercise their NLRA rights, regardless of immigration status.
“I am resolved to hold fully accountable those entities that, by targeting immigrant workers and their workplaces, undermine the policies of the NLRA and the nation’s immigration laws,” Abruzzo said when she first announced her immigrant initiative in a memo in November 2021
In accordance with her new memo, all NLRB regional personnel are responsible for distributing a fact sheet (available in English and Spanish) to all investigation witnesses, advising them that:
- Immigration status is irrelevant to whether there has been an NLRA violation.
- Information obtained during NLRB investigations is protected.
- A charging party or witness may ask the NLRB to seek immigration relief for employees at a worksite if needed to protect employees involved in NLRB processes or exercising their NLRA rights.