In an earlier post, we told you that two of this blog’s authors, Michael J. Lotito and Harold R. Weinrich, were going to be present at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Labor Relations Committee’s November 17 meeting, where NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman was a scheduled speaker. As promised, here is a firsthand report about Chairman Liebman’s comments.
Chairman Liebman told the group that a number of “significant issues” were on the agenda to be addressed by the new “Obama Board.” This list included:
· Revisiting the Dana Corporation case, relating to pre-recognition bargaining in the context of a neutrality agreement;
· On remand of the New York, New York Hotel, LLC case, dealing with, as the D.C. Circuit Court framed it, whether individuals working for a contractor on another’s premises should be considered employees of the property owner, thereby granting them access to the property owner’s premises;
· Considering cases dealing with the issue of whether “bannering” constitutes unlawful picketing or protected “handbilling”; and
· Revisiting the Hoffman Plastics case to address whether undocumented-alien employees, who are knowingly hired, should be entitled to back pay if they are unlawfully terminated by their employer for engaging in protected union activity.
Consistent with her comments at last week’s American Bar Association meeting, Chairman Liebman again indicated that the NLRB intends to make greater use of rulemaking. Indeed, the Board has retained rulemaking experts to educate them regarding the intricacies of the process. Finally, the Chairman noted that a pending rulemaking petition regarding minority unions was of less concern to her than a petition, pending since 1993, asking the Board to adopt a rule requiring employers to post a notice in the workplace setting forth employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.