Breakfast with the NLRB: A Conversation with Jonathan Kreisberg

Posted by Ryan O'Donnell on Wed, Nov 09, 2011 @ 01:28 PM

Last month, National Labor Relations Board Regional Director Jonathan Kreisberg hosted an informational breakfast at the Board’s Region 34 offices in downtown Hartford. This breakfast, while informal, offered attorneys a unique perspective on the current state of the NLRB—at both the regional level, and in Washington D.C.

While Director Kreisberg’s remarks covered a wide-range of topics, employers should pay particular attention to these five points:

  1. Budget concerns will continue to result in talks of regional downsizing, and, perhaps, even elimination. While Director Kreisberg doesn’t believe Regional 34 is at immediate risk, the cases currently covered by Regional 34 could eventually be split between Boston and New York.
  2. The NLRB’s case in Register Guard case could be overturned, and has been targeted by the Board’ General Counsel. Under Register Guard, employers may prohibit employees from sending non-job related solicitations using the employer’s email system, including union-related communications. Overturning this case would give unions yet another strong tool to assist in their organizing efforts.
  3. Social media will continue to be a red-hot issue for the Board. Director Kreisberg discussed the importance of employer’s narrowly tailoring social media polices in accordance with the guidelines offered by both the General Counsel and the National Chamber of Commerce.
  4.  “Non-competitive” claims made by employers at the bargaining table are going to be subject to stricter scrutiny, which will likely include the disclosure of financial information.
  5. Quickie, or “SNAP,” elections remain a very real (and, for employers, very scary) possibility. While the Board has proposed a rule that would allow such quickie elections to take place, such elections remain a hot-button issue. Indeed, serious questions remain as to whether a three-member Board would even make such a profound change to the National Labor Relations Act

Bottom Line for Employers:

 Each of these five issues will have a significant impact on employers. Therefore, it’s important that employers remain update-to-date on these rapidly developing issues—either through consultation with counsel or by checking out one of Siegel O’Connor’s labor and employment seminars. For more information, please contact Bud O’Donnell.

Tags: Register Guard, SNAP elections, Hartford NLRB, Jonathan Kreisberg, National Chamber of Commerce