This session of Labor and Employment Inner Workings took place on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.
President Obama has appointed a new, five member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The composition of the new Board strongly suggests that there will be a major shift in NLRB policy and decision making over the next several years. While the now disbanded "Bush Board" often was described as "employer friendly," the new Board, which includes three appointees with strong union backgrounds appears well positioned to swing the pendulum in the other direction.
While the future of legislation such as EFCA is still very unclear, it is appears inevitable that the new Board will significantly modify existing case law and policy in several key areas, including:
- Employer property and free speech rights related to union activities.
- Remedies available to employees/labor unions when employers fail to abide by federal labor law requirements.
- The definition of "protected concerted activity" under the National Labor Relations Act.
- Determining which categories of individuals should be included under the protections of the National Labor Relations Act. This will likely include re-examination of the definition of "supervisor" under that statute.
- Employee rights to seek and promote unionization.
While it is not clear which particulars issues and policy questions will come before the new Board, it is clear that the new panel will be looking at those issues with a very different perspective than their immediate predecessors. This Web conference provided information to help employers anticipate changes that may be forthcoming, and provide guidance in preparing for what may lie ahead.
For more information, please contact Kristen La Buda at klabuda foley.com or 312.832.4725.
Richard Albert and Raymond Carey are the attorneys responsible for the content of this program.
For more information regarding the Labor & Employment Inner Workings Web Conference Series, please visit Foley.com/IW.