NLRB General Counsel Pushes for Interim Settlements in Lieu of Injunctive Relief
The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has issued a memorandum directing NLRB staff attorneys to pursue settlements of unfair labor practice claims in place of seeking court-ordered injunctive relief, for the stated purpose of better focusing the agency’s resources.
While the merits of an unfair labor practice claim are being litigated before the NLRB, Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act enables the NLRB field staff to request a federal district court to issue temporary (or interim) injunctions to remedy the allegedly unfair labor practice and protect employee rights. The memo states that, now, employers will be given the opportunity to voluntarily agree to an interim agreement on remedies before court-ordered injunctive relief is sought. The hope is that this will increase voluntary agreements and avoid district court litigation. It is rather unclear, however, whether employers will welcome this opportunity to agree to relief regarding a matter in which it is still disputing the merits of the claim.
This memo follows a prior announcement by the General Counsel to expand the use of injunctive relief against employers in the context of union organizing campaigns, as we discussed in our February 2022 E-Update. Employers should be prepared to face continued aggressive enforcement activity from the Biden NLRB and its GC.