How Will The NLRB’s New Investigation Procedures Affect Your Cases?

The National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb issued General Counsel Memorandum 19-02, reducing case processing time. This will affect virtually every charge handled by the NLRB.

The primary change is the end of agency wide case processing deadlines. Previously, the NLRB’s Division of Operations Management in Washington, D.C. required the Regions to submit reports at the end of each month showing actions taken on cases during that month.

The new system now requires every Region to reduce its median case processing time by 5% each year for the next four years. The memorandum allows the Regions to self-impose end of the month deadlines on their agents, or other deadline systems, if they choose.

This new system:

  • Strongly disincentives the use of investigative subpoenas. In the past, subpoenas were used as a way to give extensions of the internal deadlines to decide cases;
  • Regions will now have the same administrative incentives to quickly process and organize a campaign discharge case in an isolated allegation of an overly broad work rule; and
  • The absence of a hard case determination deadline will likely increase flexibility from agents on extensions.

Overall, the new system is a welcome change for employers.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at