House Passes NLRB Reform Bill

Jan. 13, 2005
In one of its most significant actions for the business community prior to leaving for its Apr. 2-20 spring recess, the House passed the business-backed Small Business & Employees Act. The measure, aimed at reining in the power of the National Labor ...

In one of its most significant actions for the business community prior to leaving for its Apr. 2-20 spring recess, the House passed the business-backed Small Business & Employees Act. The measure, aimed at reining in the power of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), among other things would:

  • Allow companies with fewer than 100 employees to recover attorney fees and defense costs when they prevail in cases brought against them by the board.
  • Set a one-year deadline for the NLRB to resolve unfair labor practice cases against a company and require the agency to conduct hearings when deciding the appropriate bargaining unit for multi-facility employers.
  • Ban the practice of "salting," in which union representatives apply for jobs in a company for the primary purpose of organizing the firm or creating litigation.

The measure is a long way from enactment, however. Strongly opposed by organized labor, it cleared the House by only a 202-200 margin and faces heavy resistance in the Senate, which now takes it up.

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