A few years ago, former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb launched an initiative to quicken the pace at which the agency processes its cases. Although Robb was unceremoniously terminated by President Biden on the first day of his presidency, Robb’s efforts continue to yield remarkable results at the agency.
According to a recent press release from the Board:
“The National Labor Relations Board reduced the median age of cases pending before the Board at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2021 by 15% from FY 2020, 54% from FY 2019, and 69% since FY 2018. The median age of pending cases at the end of FY 2021 was 72 days, compared with 85 days at the end of FY 2020, 157 days at the end of FY 2019, and 233 days at the end of FY 2018.”
New NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has outlined plans for the agency that, in most respects, are a complete departure from the priorities set by Robb. It remains to be seen if she will make case processing efficiency a priority like her predecessor.
Practically speaking, what does quicker processing mean for unions, employees, and employers appearing before the NLRB? It typically means the parties have shorter deadlines to provide information and submissions to the agency in their cases, which also generally results in resolution being achieved sooner.
The NLRB remains an important agency to watch for employers, as major changes are expected in the coming months now that a pro-union majority has taken hold. Often December brings a flurry of big decisions, so stay tuned for more updates as 2021 comes to a close.