National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard Griffin’s 18-page General Counsel Memorandum (GC 14-02), “Report on the Midwinter Meeting of the ABA Practice and Procedure Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section,” issued March 26, 2014, covers a wide-range of topics, including unfair labor practice statistics and Agency plans for guidance memoranda regarding employer work rules and handbooks.
As has been the case for many years, the NLRB’s GC attended the annual midwinter meeting of the Practice and Procedure Committee of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section. The primary purpose was to respond to and discuss concerns and questions raised by Committee members about NLRB-related issues.
According to the Memorandum, in fiscal year 2013, 21,394 unfair labor practice charges were filed; the vast majority (92.8%) of these was settled. Only 1,272 unfair labor practice complaints were issued, and the NLRB’s litigation win rate was 85.7%. In FY 2013, 559 of the charges filed were submitted to the Division of Advice, with a median case-processing time of 21 days. (The submitted cases involved novel or difficult legal issues, high-profile labor disputes, charges pending in multiple Regional Offices, or Section 10(j) injunction authorization requests.)
Despite confusion that appears to exists (even among some NLRB personnel) over the legality of handbook rules under the NLRA, the GC does not plan to issue any additional “guideline memoranda” on that subject. (These Memoranda can be quite useful to employers and practitioners who are charged with determining the lawfulness of handbook rules under the NLRA.) According to the GC, there also are no immediate plans for guideline memoranda about other issues, but since there are a number of significant issues pending before the NLRB, it is likely that guidance will be provided to the Regional offices once decisions are released in those cases. Also of note in the Memorandum is the revelation by the GC that no administrative rules (other than the proposed representation case rules) are being considered or drafted at this time by the NLRB.