National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Peter Sung Ohr announced on February 1 that he was rescinding 10 memos he considered inconsistent with the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) , including a note on employee handbook rules. The NLRA encourages collective bargaining and protects the right of workers to associate, self-organize and appoint union representatives, he noted. We have collected articles on this news from SHRM online and other reliable sources.
Manual rule canceled
The June 6, 2018, employee handbook memo from former NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb described three categories of rules: rules that are generally legal, provisions ensuring individualized review, and rules that are legal. Most of the rules mentioned in the note were generally considered legal. Ohr said this memo is being rescinded as it is no longer needed, given the number of NLRB cases interpreting the landmark ruling in Boeing.
Whistleblower memo withdrawn
Ohr also quashed a note from Robb that had raised concerns among some NLRB staff as it limited the way they gathered evidence. The memo required NLRB staff to tell whistleblowers that they could face federal charges or be sanctioned by their employer if they gave away the illegally obtained NLRB video or audio. “Note that this memorandum is being rescinded because some parts are inconsistent with past practice,” Ohr said. “Regions should continue not to accept recordings that violate federal wiretapping law and to notify those presenting recorded evidence when they may violate state law.”
Other canceled memos
Other canceled memos included a pair that lowered the bar for lawsuits against unions, as well as two that increased the level of detail unions must include in financial notices and called for new rules on collecting union dues. members and non-members. Ohr also withdrew a memo calling for further limitations on union-employer neutrality agreements.
Last week, Ohr asked the NLRB to dismiss a lawsuit against an Embassy Suites hotel and Seattle local Unite Here. The case concerned a neutrality agreement between the hotel and the union. Neutrality agreements limit an employer’s rights to campaign against union organizing, thus facilitating the path to union organizing. Robb had used the case to limit the legality of such deals nationwide.
Ohr was recently appointed
Ohr was appointed acting general counsel on January 25 after President Biden removed Robb from his position as general counsel. Ohr will likely run the NLRB’s office of the attorney general until the president announces a candidate confirmed by the Senate. The role is different from that of a board member: the general counsel applies the NLRA, selects the charges to be prosecuted and creates the agency’s legal strategy, while overseeing the staff and the handling of cases in the offices. exteriors of the NLRB.
(SHRM online and Bloomberg)