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Top NLRB Lawyer Clarifies Policy on Prosecuting Negligent Unions

March 26, 2019, 10:35 PM

The National Labor Relations Board’s top lawyer on March 26 clarified his policy for prosecuting unions for negligent behavior that the board used to view as harmless error, saying it doesn’t apply to union decisions against pursuing employee grievances.

NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb last fall told NLRB lawyers that conduct such as losing an employee’s complaint or not returning a phone call violates federal labor law unless unions can offer reasonable explanations. That directive signaled that unions couldn’t defend against an unfair labor practice charge by calling that type of conduct innocuous “mere negligence.”

In his latest memo,...

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