Interesting times at the NLRB, and the dust may not settle for quite some time. After the Bill Emanuel “conflict of interest” intrigue, and the boards’ vacating of a December ruling rescinding Obama-era joint employer parameters (see Insight), Democrats in the Senate are jumping on that same piece of red meat to hold up the confirmation of John Ring, while business groups are jumping back on the legislative bandwagon to resolve the joint employer issue outside of NLRB rulings. Meanwhile, earlier this month, a motion to reconsider the order to vacate was filed, and the political motivations of the Inspector General’s office is being called into question. Not to be left out of the party, unions are attempting to see how much mileage they can get out of the concept of recusal by attempting to have vacated the Boeing v. Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace decision.

The NLRB General Counsel’s Division of Advice office released 43 advice memoranda just before Spring Break. Among the topics addressed:

  • Google’s dismissal of an employee for violating an anti-harassment and discrimination policy
  • An employee benefit PowerPoint that created a binding contract provision
  • The connection of social media policies between a franchisor and franchisees
  • Union’s use of shadow Facebook groups to intimidate employees

Although the memoranda are not binding, they are designed to present guidance to the regional offices on new or novel issues. For details on the four mentioned above, read the full article here, and to review all of the memoranda go here to the board’s website.

The NLRB has extended yet again the deadline for public comments on whether to rescind the Obama-board rule shortening the time period for union elections. Both business and union interests had asked for an extension, and the board extended the deadline to April 18th.

The Janus case still continues to hold our interest while the issue works its way out in court. If you’d like to read the oral arguments you can secure the transcript here. While waiting for resolve, union groups in Wisconsin are attempting to leverage the concept behind the original Janus decision to challenge the 2011 Act 10 legislation in that state restricting bargaining rights for public employees. Two locals of the International Union of Operating Engineers filed a lawsuit naming Governor Scott Walker, attorney General Brad Schimel and James K. Daley, the chair of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, as defendants.


As unions (disingenuously) attempt to jump on the #metoo bandwagon, it has come back to bite them again, this time at the hands of the NLRB. This came in a board move to vacate an administrative trial court’s decision dismissing a breach of duty of fair representation case against a union for discriminating and sexually harassing a female union member. The board took to task the ALJ’s credibility determinations, which make for some very interesting reading.