Panken: Article About New Direction of National Labor Relations Board

New York Employment Law Letter

Peter Panken, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the New York office, wrote an article about the new direction of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The article discussed how President Barack Obama made two recess appointments to the NLRB in late March. Both are lawyers who spent their careers representing Labor Unions. The new majority of three liberal democrats (including the current chairman) can be expected to reverse the conservative bent of the NLRB under the Bush administration. They are also expected to make changes in how the NLRB handles elections, speeding up the timetable so employers will have less time to persuade employees that they should not vote for unionization.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Unfortunately, employers have no power to change the direction the new NLRB will be taking. But you can be vigilant in training your supervisors to be aware of organizing activity and let top management know what's happening. Most important, review your handbooks to ensure they emphasize the benefits of working for your company, and train supervisors to treat employees with respect, since unfair treatment is the primary cause of unionization. Communication is key. Make sure your employees know their concerns will be heard and that you will treat them fairly and respectfully."