- Following a surge of union activity last year, unfair labor charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board increased 16%, from 8,275 to 9,592, during the first six months of fiscal year 2023, which ended March 31, the agency said Friday. At the same time, union representation petitions for that period inched 2% upward, from 1,174 to 1,200.
- In FY 2022, NLRB saw record-breaking increases in cases. Between unfair labor charges and union representation petitions, the total number of cases the agency handled rose 23%, from 16,720 to 20,498. That marked the biggest single-year increase in 46 years and the greatest percentage increase in 63 years, NLRB said. At its current pace, FY 2023 is on track to record the second-largest increase in filings since FY 1959.
- The surge in cases comes as the agency faces budgetary and staffing shortages, NLRB said. In the past 20 years, its field office staff has been cut in half, the agency said.
The renewed union activity accompanies recent pro-worker initiatives by the NLRB. The agency, which is charged with ensuring workers’ rights are not infringed upon, in February held that employers can’t offer severance packages that force employees to waive National Labor Relations Act rights, a decision attorneys say could have broad implications for employers.
In March, the agency doubled down on its McLaren Macomb ruling, clarifying that its decision, in which NLRB found McLaren Macomb Hospital violated the NLRA by offering a severance agreement to permanently furloughed workers keeping them from disparaging the hospital, applied retroactively.
Separately, NLRB has teamed up with other federal agencies to target companies’ treatment of independent contractors and their surveillance of workers. In March, NLRB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly address employer surveillance, monitoring and data collection. And, in July, NLRB and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to focus on anti-competitive practices involving independent contractors.