Recent Important Changes at NLRB Promising for Employers (February 2018)

In 2017, President Trump filled three vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”).  These appointees included two new Board Members, Marvin E. Kaplan and William J. Emanuel, as well as new General Counsel Peter B. Robb. 

As the new Republican-led NLRB begins to take shape, employers have already seen a number of major developments, most of which are aimed at walking back policies established during the Obama administration.  This alert recaps the recent developments at the NLRB and discusses potential next steps for employers.

Decisions Issued by the Board
The Boeing Company – Handbook Rules
In The Boeing Co., 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017) the Board overruled Lutheran Heritage, 343 NLRB 646 (2004), crafting a new test for determining whether facially neutral handbook rules interfere with employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”). Under the standard from Lutheran Heritage, the Board found that simply maintaining a facially neutral handbook rule violated the Act if the rule would be “reasonably construed” by employees to prohibit activity protected by Section 7 of the Act.