In a January 29, 2018 email, the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board informed its Regional offices of potential changes it is considering with respect to how the NLRB processes unfair labor practice charges. The General Counsel had solicited suggestions “from all levels of the organization,” and compiled a “draft summary of suggestions” in a memo attached to the January 29th email.
The most significant change suggested is to require “institutional charging parties, such as unions, employers, other organizations, and employees who have a personal representative” to file a detailed position statement or affidavit with the unfair labor practice charge. The position statement would have to include a recitation of facts, identification of relevant witnesses, names of all alleged discriminatees, names and titles of relevant managers/supervisors/employer agents, the remedy sought, and relevant documents such as collective bargaining agreements and relevant grievances. Unrepresented individual charging parties would also have to file a position statement, but Regional personnel would be expected to assist them in completing the position statement.
The memo also included suggestions that investigative subpoenas be used sparingly and only after approval is provided by Operations, and that investigations would not seek employer EIN numbers or manuals, policies, handbooks, etc. unless directly related to alleged violations.
Other significant suggestions include:
- potential dismissal of the charge if the charging party fails to respond to any request from the Region within two business days;
- when contacting the charged party, the Board agent should go over the allegations, seek resolution including a bilateral resolution, and allowing non-Board resolutions to be memorialized by email;
- if the Board agent and the supervisor decide to pursue an investigation of the charge, set a deadline for ultimate disposition;
- prior to the opening of a hearing, Regions may take settlements of any kind that are not inconsistent with the Act.
The General Counsel’s office has requested comments to the suggestions by Friday, February 9.