The NLRB General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, is taking heat for her attempt to eliminate captive audience meetings. Republicans from the House Education and Labor Committee sent a letter to Abruzzo with this reprimand:
“It is a violation of separation of powers constitutional principles for any Senate-confirmed executive branch official to implement policy Congress has refused to enact or to ignore existing law simply based on policy preferences. Congress, through carefully crafted legislation, has granted the Board sufficient tools to preserve an employee’s right of free association. It is not for the General Counsel to expand or limit its authority as the current occupant personally sees fit.”
Meanwhile, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for the American Future sued the NLRB and Abruzzo over the memo on behalf of five Texas staffing agencies. The staffing firms want the court to set aside the guidance as unconstitutional and block the NLRB general counsel’s office from enforcing it through litigation.
Abruzzo continues to churn out Guidance Memos encouraging Regional NLRB officials to put the pressure on employers. In a June 28th memo she applauded the Regions for continuing to require “full remedies” in settlement agreements (in Unfair Labor Practice charges), and encouraged them to “be proactive in ensuring compliance with settlement agreements, including enforcing default judgment provisions in the event of non-compliance.”
One suspects that Abruzzo sees anti-worker sentiment in every conceivable business activity. The new “partnership” between the NLRB and the Justice Department’s Anti-Trust division seems to be another page in that playbook. Presumably Abruzzo hopes to find violations of labor laws in anti-trust actions or investigations.