NLRB Planning More Rulemaking

Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor

May 23, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced that it plans to engage in more rulemaking through the end of the year in a number of areas. The agency released its proposed short term and long term rulemaking actions in the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions released Wednesday by the Office of Management and Budget.

In addition to moving forward with its rulemaking regarding the joint-employer standard, the NLRB will consider rulemaking in the following areas:

  • Revising the Board's current representation-case procedures (also known as "ambush" election rules) that were finalized in 2014 and became effective April 14, 2015;
  • Establishing the standard for determining whether students who perform services at private colleges or universities in connection with their studies are "employees" under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This may reverse the NLRB's 3-1 decision in Columbia University in 2016 that certain student assistants can unionize and collectively bargain for better working conditions;
  • Setting standards for worker and union access to an employer's private property; and
  • Revising the Board's current standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition and the formation of Section 9(a) bargaining relationships in the construction industry.

The proposed rules address issues that the Trump administration has prioritized. The rules aim to reverse rulings and regulations issued by the Obama administration's labor board.

NLRB Chairman John F. Ring said the agenda reflects the Board majority's "strong interest" in continued rulemaking. "Addressing these important topics through rulemaking allows the Board to consider and issue guidance in a clear and more comprehensive manner," he said.