NLRB and SBA Out For Comments  

So, I was over at Unbossed today and noticed that both the NLRB and SBA are presenting new proposed rules or rule changes.

From Unbossed:

This is your chance to weigh in on an issue of critical importance

Comments do not have to be legalistic. They can be brief. To be effective, though, they should be directed to issues in this proposal.

Full details are provided below.

Significance of the proposed changes

So what does this all mean? I have no inside knowledge of what is going on, but it seems that the NLRB has decided to respond to several complaints.

1. NLRB elections take too long.
As the statistics from FY2006 show, the NLRB election process is usually over in about a month, and over 92% are over within two months.

The real delay comes later when challenges or objections are filed to those who voted or to the conduct of the election. This holds up certification of the election, sometimes ballot counts, and the issuance of a certification. There has to be an investigation and then if there is sufficient evidence of a problem a hearing. The employer can refuse to bargain and then set in motion a process that can involve litigation through the courts of appeals. This is where the real delay comes in.

The changes make most of these delaying moves impossible. It also provides that the Regional Director's decision is final. An employer who refused to bargain after signing such an election agreement would have no grounds to do so.

2. The key issue, therefore, would be how to handle a refusal to bargain. This is the weak point.
The NLRB currently needs to take a charge of bad faith bargaining up to the courts of appeals just to get an enforceable order. Congress failed to give the Board that authority, hence the need for the lengthy appeals. While the proposed changes are helpful, until this issue, we may continue to see delays.

Please drop a note in the mail to the NLRB

DATES: All written comments must be received on or before March 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES: All written comments should be sent to the Office of the Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1099 14th Street, NW., Room 11600, Washington, DC 20570-0001. The comments should be filed in eight copies, double spaced on 8\1/2\-by-11 inch paper and shall be printed or otherwise legibly duplicated.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lester A. Heltzer, Executive Secretary, Telephone (202) 273-1067, e-mail address Lester.Heltzer[at]nlrb[dot]gov.

Now, for SBA's proposals for other agencies in relation to small businesses...and here are my top favorites:

* Flexibility for Community Drinking Water Systems
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA should consider expanding the ways for small communities to qualify to meet alternative drinking water standards, provided that the alternative standards are protective of human health and are approved by state authorities.

* Simplify the Rules for Recycling Solid Waste
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA should simplify the rules for recycling useful materials that, because of their current classification, must be handled, transported, and disposed of as hazardous wastes.

Fascinating rule choices, huh?


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