Ogletree Deakins’ Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group is pleased to announce the publication of the summer 2020 issue of the Practical NLRB Advisor. This issue offers insight into the new, and oftentimes unanticipated, labor/management issues resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. While COVID-19 brought an abrupt halt to many aspects of daily life, it has had quite the opposite effect on labor relations: novel bargaining obligations arose, and new bargaining mechanics became necessary. These unexpected issues, coupled with an increase in employee concerted activity in response to the pandemic, have all tested the capacity of the parties and the law to adapt to unprecedented circumstances.
Were these new issues and changes not disruptive enough, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), as an agency, chose to push forward despite the pandemic. In the case-handling context, this necessitated that agency stakeholders adapt to such unprecedented procedures as virtual investigations and hearings, as well as the nearly universal use of mail-ballot elections. On the decisional front, perhaps fostered by the absence of any likely dissenter, the Board continued to turn out a large number of new cases.
The net result of all this activity has been a dynamic and fast-changing labor relations landscape. In this issue of the Practical NLRB Advisor, we examine the multiple issues that the pandemic has raised, as well as the Board’s activity in continuing to reshape the law.