July 10, 2015
This week, the National Labor Relations Board invited briefs on whether certain rules governing "alternative work arrangements," such as temporary employees, part-time employees and other contingent workers, should be revised to make it easier for unions to combine those kinds of employees in the same unit as employees in traditional employment arrangements. The rules in this area have been in a state of flux since the Clinton Board overturned years of precedent to enable unions to seek such combined units, only to be returned to the traditional rule by the Bush board. Even though it is generally assumed that the Board's request for briefs signals a likely change back to the Clinton Board rule, the Board this week proved that is not always the inevitable result. It surprisingly reversed itself on another recent request for briefs in a case that would potentially have weakened state right to work laws, thus leaving long-standing rules in place. The request for briefs in such a well-settled area had drawn strong criticism from key House and Senate Members.