Labor Board Members, HRPA Members Discuss Accelerated Board Activity

By Greg Hoff posted 01-13-2023 00:00


The Future Workplace Policy Council closed out its year-end webinar series with a discussion of recent significant labor law and policy developments at the NLRB, including changes to bargaining unit determinations, expanded remedies, increased use of injunctive authority, and more uncertainty overall for stakeholders.

The panel featured current and former NLRB members, HR Policy member companies, members of HR Policy’s Legal Advisory Committee, and HR Policy staff tackling a variety of recent significant developments at the Board, which had a flurry of precedent-changing activity to close out 2022. “The NLRB is the agency at the epicenter of labor law change in this administration,” said Roger King, Senior Labor & Employment Counsel, HR Policy. “Employers need to pay attention.”

“Tough sledding going forward”: Former Board Member and Chair John Ring, whose term expired at the end of 2022, forecasted a difficult next two years for employers at the Board. “We are going to back to the Obama-era Board – plus.” Mr. Ring noted potential changes being lobbied for by General Counsel Abruzzo, including card check elections, elimination of mandatory employer meetings, restrictions on uses of technology in the workplace, and more as evidence of an increasingly challenging environment for employers going forward. 

Increased remedies and bargaining unit size determinations of particular concern: 

  • On the Board’s recent expansion of available remedies for unfair labor practices, Mr. Ring noted that the new standard “allows the Board to award almost any remedy it wants,” while Michelle Dewyea, Vice President, Workforce and Labor Relations, Sutter Health, noted that it only “adds to the lack of clarity” for employers.

  • On the Board’s new bargaining unit determination standard, Ms. Dewyea noted that the increase in fractured units as a result will have a major impact on operations, especially in health care. Kurt Larkin, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth, advised employers to analyze the structure of their workforces to make changes that are operationally more feasible to deal with the new standard. 

Catch up on these developments and more in the latest issue of HR Policy’s NLRB Quarterly Report!

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