MLA labor attorneys are pleased to announce the publication of Labor Law 2013: A Year In Review. This marks the third straight year that we have produced this annual review of developments in traditional labor law and labor-management relations.
2013 began with unprecedented uncertainty, as several federal courts repudiated the authority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to act. Likewise, throughout the year, the Board encountered setback after setback in its efforts to overhaul labor law via administrative rule-making. The courts invalidated the Board's Notice Posting rule on substantive grounds; and its "Quickie Election" rules on a variety of procedural grounds. The Department of Labor delayed implementation of its revised "Persuader Rules," requiring extensive reporting to the government by employers and their attorneys. Reviewing courts continued to look unfavorably upon the Board's position on class waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements.
But following a summer government stand-off, a compromise paved the way for a newly empowered Board to resume efforts to overhaul the nation's labor laws. By year's end, the Board had five fully confirmed Members for the first time in a decade; and, a new confirmed General Counsel. There is no question that this Board will take up the same aggressive course charted by its predecessor – but freed from quorum challenges and similar procedural obstacles.
With the immediate past likely to serve as prologue, we submit this brief summary publication highlighting the most noteworthy developments of 2013. We hope you find it a helpful resource as we head into what will undoubtedly be another active year in labor-management relations.