Legal update for workers

Updates in regards to the National Labor Relations Board 

Comments regarding the NLRB Proposed Joint Employer Standard can still be filed: The NLRB has extended the comment period regarding its proposed Joint Employer rule, which would return to a previous standard that an employer can only be considered an employer if it actually exercises control over working conditions that is “direct and immediate.” This proposed rule would narrow the ability of contracted employees to engage in collective bargaining, impacting employees’ industries in which contracting is common, such as the janitorial industry and construction. The new deadline for filing comments in January 15, 2019. I can answer any questions, or more information can be found at htpp://

On December 28, 2018, the General Counsel changed the NLRB policy regarding deferral of unfair labor practice charges to the grievance and arbitration procedure. Under the new standard, the NLRB offices have been instructed to defer (i.e., not decide) unfair labor practices where a grievance is being processed through the “grievance – arbitration machinery” and there is a “reasonable chance that the machinery will resolve the dispute.” In other words, if a grievance has been filed, it is again more likely that the NLRB will defer any ULP charge filed and not consider a statutory violation. NLRB GC Memorandum 19-03.

Building Trades CBA’s formed under Section 8(f) of the Act: The union in LoShaw Thermal Technology withdrew its petition to represent workers, and the NLRB has therefore closed this case. The NLRB had requested briefs regarding a potential change to the standards in converting an NLRA Section 8(f) agreement to an agreement pursuant to Section 9(a) of the Act, requiring employee majority support. While the issue appears to have been dropped for now, it is quite likely that the NLRB could return to this issue in another case.


January 2019 | By: Associate Professor Alexia Kulwiec