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NLRB Looks to Expand Reach With Latest Enforcement Priorities

The NLRB is looking for ways to become relevant to the 93 percent of employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

March 3, 2014

Late last month, the new National Labor Relations Board General Counsel, Richard Griffin, published a memo (GC 14-01) outlining the matters that the Regions must submit to the NLRB’s Division of Advice for guidance on how to proceed. The memo is of key importance to employers, because it signals those matters that  will be an enforcement priority for the agency moving forward.

Of particular note, the memo lists the following two issues:

Why are these two issues important to employers? Because they show that the NLRB continues to look for ways to expand its reach beyond the traditional union/management setting. As I’ve been arguing for years, the NLRB is looking for ways to become relevant to the 93 percent of employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The Board has cornered the market on social media cases, and is now expanding its reach to other issues—the rights of non-union employees to representation in disciplinary meetings, and email solicitation rules.

It is clear that it is going to be an interesting three years under the current iteration of the NLRB. Employers should expect movement on these two issues. Stay tuned.

Jon Hyman is a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.  For more information, contact Hyman at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com. Follow Hyman on Twitter at @jonhyman.