As the DOL considers new rules designed to force financial disclosure for union affiliated “intermediate bodies,” Big Labor is already positioning to fight the move, claiming that such rules would create a financial hardship for such entities, especially in light of Janus.

John Ring

In a message to the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Conference, NLRB Chairman John Ring affirmed his intent to see more rule-making from the NLRB, including on issues of joint employer, ambush elections, and union access to employer property. Turning back the ambush elections rule is probably of greatest import to most employers, but the telegraphed approach appears to be bit-by-bit rather than taking on the entire rule at once. Joint employer appears to be the top priority at the NLRB.

Related to joint employer, William Emanuel has been cleared by the NLRB ethics officer to participate in any rule making around joint employer. Although last year the NLRB inspector general determined Emanuel should have recused himself from a case involving joint employer, the recusals rules are different for cases versus rule-making, since rule-making applies to all companies across the country rather than a single enterprise.

Now that the Democrats control the House, labor legislation coming from that side of Congress will likely focus on codifying the Obama’s legislative agenda, including the Workplace Democracy Act (WDA), Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act (WFNA), and Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act of 2018 (PSFNA). The first two are basically a rehash of the Employee Free Choice Act, and the PSFNA is designed to undermine the Janus decision.

With the Senate controlled by Republicans, it is unlikely these will go anywhere. Since the NLRB is still employer/worker friendly, most of the action of the next couple of years portends to be in favor of workers and their employers.

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