Earlier this year, the NLRB’s General Counsel (“GC”), who is responsible for enforcing the NLRA, continued the annual practice of attending the Mid-Winter Meeting of the Practice and Procedure Committee of the ABA Labor and Employment Law section. The GC answered questions the committee had collected from labor law practitioners around the country.

Late last month, the GC published a memorandum (pdf) summarizing the questions that were posed to him and the answers he provided. As in years past, the memorandum covers a wide range of topics that are too broad to cover effectively in this post. Labor professionals with a particular interest in practice and procedure issues before the NLRB will want to review the memorandum in detail.

Some of the noteworthy topics the memorandum covers, however, are listed below with parenthetical references to the page(s) in the memorandum on which the discussion appears:

  • An extended discussion regarding settlement issues, including consultation with charging parties by the regional office regarding settlement (2), plans to post settlement agreements online to the NLRB’s electronic docket system (3), and announcement of a forthcoming memorandum containing guidance about default judgment procedures (3-4);
  • An interesting discussion of examples of cases in which pre-arbitration and post-arbitration deferral have, and have not, been permitted (4);
  • The GC has no immediate plans for additional guidance memoranda regarding work rules and employee handbooks, but the GC does discuss several issues currently pending before the NLRB that are of particular note, including retail store bargaining units, and religiously affiliated education institutions (7);
  • Significantly, given the pending rulemaking on election procedures, the GC reports that unions won just over 64% of all representation cases filed and that the median number of days from petition to election in fiscal year 2013 was 38 (13); and
  • The GC indicates that there is no other rulemaking activity being considered or drafted (14).