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Shays, LoBiondo Introduce Legislation to Speed up NLRB Investigations

Location: Washington, DC

Shays, LoBiondo Introduce Legislation to Speed up NLRB Investigations

Republican Labor Working Group Members working for more fair review process

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representatives Christopher Shays (CT-04) and Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) introduced legislation this week that would speed up the reviewing and decision-making process of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The "NLRB Reform Act" will end the NLRB's common practice of a multi-year adjudication. LoBiondo is the Co-Chair of the Republican Labor Working Group, of which Shays is a member.

"As the system currently operates, Union members who file a complaint to NLRB often have to wait years for a decision on their employment and election disputes," Shays said. "This costs the employee significant time and money. Our legislation will put an end to the seemingly endless process the labor community currently endures."

"Hard-working men and women should not have to wait inordinate amounts of time for their concerns to be reviewed and action to be taken. There is wide-spread agreement that the current system need immediate reforms. This bill is a common-sense approach to bringing back fairness and efficiency to the National Labor Relations Board," said LoBiondo.

For several years the Labor community has expressed concern about time the NLRB takes to review and render a decision on employment and election disputes. The Shays/LoBiondo NLRB Reform Act addresses this concern through the following changes:

1. Allows Board members to stay in their jobs until a new member of the Board can be named to take their place. One of the biggest contributors to the backlog of cases is that when a Board member's term is up, that position is vacant until a replacement is named.

2. Creates tiered timelines for how long the NLRB has to render a decision for the two types of cases they review. For unfair labor practices, the NLRB will have a six-month deadline for less difficult cases and a one-year deadline for more difficult cases. For disputed election cases, the board will have 6 months to direct an election by secret ballot and must certify the results within 12 months after a petition is filed.

3. Allows the parties in dispute to waive the prescribed timetables.

One high-profile example of NLRB's egregious decision-making process occurred in a Tar Heel, North Carolina case. The Smithfield Packing Company was found guilty of illegally assaulting, intimidating and harassing its workers when they attempted to form a union in 1994 and 1997. The guilty decision was not handed down until 2005.

Original cosponsors of the bill include Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Phil English (R-PA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Ray LaHood (R-IL), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), John McHugh (R-NY), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Joe Schwarz (R-MI), Rob Simmons (R-CT), James Walsh (R-NY) and Curt Weldon (R-PA).

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