NLRB GC Leashes Pavlov’s Dog

Patrick Scully

NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb this week directed his staff not to object when an employee, who is trying to decertify a union, moves to intervene in a related unfair labor practice case. Typically, when employees try to decertify the union that represents them, the union’s Pavlovian response is to file a charge claiming the employer induced or assisted the decertification effort. Unions tend to argue it is inconceivable employees would be dissatisfied with their services without a nudge from the employer. In the past, the NLRB has typically prevented employees from intervening in inducement/assistance charges. Unfortunately, as a result, employees (and their advocates) rarely have the opportunity to speak for themselves and deny that the employer caused the decertification. The GC’s directive means employees are more likely to be heard in all aspects of the decertification process. GC Robb’s move is another example of his plan to bring better balance to the enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act.

The memo is available here.