Wyatt Employment Law Report

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NLRB Acting General Counsel Issues Report on NLRB Activities for FY 2011

By George J. Miller

On March 8, 2012, Lafe E. Solomon, Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, issued a Summary of Operations for fiscal year 2011 (October 1, 2010 — September 30, 2011), containing preliminary figures for the fiscal year.  This data reveals a continuing slowdown in labor union activity across the country, especially in representation election cases.  Some of the data includes:

  • total case intake during FY 2011 was 24,990, compared to 26,585 cases in FY 2010, representing a 5.9% decrease in overall intake;
  • unfair labor practice case intake was 22,177, a 5.1% decrease from the FY 2010 intake of 23,381;
  • total representation election case intake was 2,813, a 12.2% decrease from the FY 2010 intake of 3,204.

In addition, however, the NLRB was aggressive in pursuing unfair labor practice cases, most of which were against employers. The NLRB reported:

  • The Regional Offices won 87% of Board and Administrative Law Judge unfair labor practice and compliance decisions in whole or in part in FY 2011.
  • A total of $60,514,922 was recovered on behalf of employees as backpay or reimbursement of fees, dues, and fines, with 1,644 employees offered reinstatement.

The 87% win rate is something which employers (and unions) charged with unfair labor practices need to be very aware of in deciding whether to defend a case through trial or try to settle early in the process.