NLRB Watch

(This is the first installment of "NLRB Watch," a new blog series on the National Right to Work Foundation’s website. In NLRB Watch Foundation staff attorney, Ave Maria law professor and former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member John Raudabaugh, discusses the actions of the Obama Labor Board.)

On April 17, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted an emergency motion and enjoined the National Labor Relations Board from implementing and enforcing its August 30, 2011, final rule mandating that all employers subject to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act post Board-prescribed one-sided "Notices of Employee Rights" to unionize by April 30, 2012. The federal appeals court will schedule further oral argument for a September 2012 date yet to be determined. Effectively, any future decision will be delayed until late Fall at the earliest. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is one of the lead plaintiffs in the litigation.

The D.C. Circuit Court’s order follows the April 13, 2012, decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina striking down the Board’s rule in its entirety. In that case brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Judge Norton held that the Board exceeded its authority in promulgating the Rule and declared it invalid, as the Foundation had urged in the D.C. litigation. Previously, on March 2, 2012, Judge Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Board’s authority to issue the rule and left intact the rule’s enforcement mechanisms which would find the failure to post the Notice an unfair labor practice and toll the statute of limitations for filing unfair labor practice charges so long as those mechanisms are applied on a case by case rather than per se basis.

The rule was originally proposed on December 22, 2010. Following public comment, a significant majority of which was adverse, the final rule was published August 30, 2011, to be effective November 14, 2011. However, on October 5, 2011, presumably to avoid a preliminary injunction in the D.C. court case brought by the Foundation and others, the Board announced that the effective date was postponed to January 31, 2012. Then, on December 23, 2011, the Board again postponed the effective date until April 30, 2012 this time explicitly acknowledging that pending legal challenge.

Next NLRB Watch: "With ‘Quickie Elections’ Rule, NLRB Quick to Sell Out Workers"