The National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel has released its annual “Summary of Operations (Fiscal Year 2012).”   According to the Summary, the General Counsel’s office exceeded some of its goals and did not meet others. Here are several notable statistics from the Summary:

  • Initial union representation elections (elections to determine whether a union will represent the employees of a particular employer) were conducted in a median of 38 days from the filing of the petition. This is the same rate achieved in FY 2011. (This figure could decrease if the Board prevails in litigation over its “quickie election” rule and is able to implement the rule during 2013.)
  • Petitions filed in certification and decertification cases decreased 5.7%, from 2,634 in FY 2011 to 2,484 in FY 2012. (In general, certification cases involve elections where the union is attempting to win the right to represent the employees of an employer; decertification cases involve elections where the employees vote whether to remove a union that already represents them.)
  • Initial representation elections filed in FY 2012 totaled 1,611, up from 1,423 FY 2011. Of those elections, 90% took place pursuant to the agreement of the parties (stipulated elections), rather than after litigation over unit-related issues.
  • Unfair labor practice charges (charges alleging that an employer or a union violated the National Labor Relations Act) filed in FY 2012 numbered 21,629, down 2.5% from 22,175 in FY 2011. This is significant given the NLRB’s push to inform the public about the NLRA’s coverage of protected concerted activity with the expectation that additional unfair labor practice charges would be filed alleging violations of the NLRA on that basis.
  • Ninety-one percent of meritorious unfair labor practice cases (those cases where the Regional Office authorized a complaint in connection with an unfair labor practice charge) were settled in the Regional Offices.
  • Where meritorious unfair labor practice cases were tried, Regional Offices won 90.1% of Board and Administrative Law Judge unfair labor practice and compliance decisions, in whole or in part.
  • A total of $44,316,059 was recovered on behalf of employees as back pay or reimbursement of fees, dues and fines. This is down substantially from $60,514,922 in FY 2011.
  • Reinstatement was offered to 1,241 former employees in FY 2012, compared to 1,644 in 2011.
  • Of the 73 Board decisions reviewed by a U.S. Court of Appeals, 94.5% were enforced or affirmed in whole or in part. Regional Offices filed Section 10(j) petitions to enjoin alleged illegal conduct in federal district court in 37 cases, compared to 45 petitions filed in FY 2011. (This includes Section 10(j) actions against both employers and unions.) The Summary highlights that the Agency achieved either a satisfactory settlement or substantial victory in connection with 97% of the Section 10(j) petitions filed.

The Summary desribess the responsibility and overall performance in each of the eight divisions of the Office of the General Counsel including: (1) the Division of Operations-Management and Regional Offices; (2) Division of Advice; (3) Division of Enforcement Litigation; (4) The Division of Administration; (5) Office of Equal Employment Opportunity; (6) Office of Chief Financial Officer; (7) Office of Human Resources; and (8) Office of Employee Development.

The Office of General Counsel will continue its aggressive enforcement in 2013, according to most observers.