To say that I have not felt overly optimistic about our nation’s course over next four years would be a bit of an understatement. One area, however, about which I am very optimistic is the expected retooling of the National Labor Relations Board.
This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative published a comprehensive report outlining the areas of federal labor law that the NLRB must address to restore balance to the workplace.
The report, entitled, Restoring Common Sense to Labor Law: 10 Policies to Fix at the National Labor Relations Board [pdf], lists the following 10 NLRB policies, each of which swung way too far to the left under President Obama’s NLRB. Listed in my order of significance:
- Invalidating a wide range of employee handbook policies to prevent obnoxious, obscene, and harassing behavior
- Exposing businesses to “joint employer” liability for workplaces they do not control and workers they do not employ
- Prohibiting class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements, which are intended to speed the resolution of workplace disputes and discourage costly class action litigation
- Eroding the confidentiality of workplace investigations
- Allowing workplace “ambush” elections over whether to form a union in as few as 10 days
- Expanding picketing rights at the expense of employers’ private property rights
- Mandating that employer-owned email systems may be used for union organizing activities
- Authorizing small groups of employees—or “micro unions”—to organize
- Restricting unions and employers from voluntarily agreeing to resolve unforeseen bargaining issues via “management rights” clauses
- Forcing employers to bargain with a union before the two parties even reach a first contract