New Senate bill would take the wind right out of the National Labor Relations Board’s sails

Generally, when you go from a Democratic Party President to a  Republican, the complexion of the National Labor Relations Board changes as well. That is, as Board Members cycle off, the new President names replacements that are more employer-friendly. And we’re seeing that right now, with the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel.

Last week, however, some Republican Senators told President Trump in unison, “Hold my beer.”

Or, at least that’s how I picture it.

On July 20, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the “Protecting American Jobs Act.” The bill has five co-sponsors:  Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), James Lankford (R-OK), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Luther Strange (R-AL), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Generally, the bill would amend the National Labor Relations Act to modify the authority of the National Labor Relations Board. According to Senator Lee’s press release, the bill would “transfer the power to hear labor disputes to federal courts.” While the Board would still be able to investigate unfair labor practices and such, it would not be allowed to prosecute them. And any NLRB rulemaking power would be limited to internal procedures.

Senator Lee explained the rationale for the legislation with no hyperbole whatsoever:

“For far too long the NLRB has acted as judge, jury, and executioner, for labor disputes in this country,” Sen. Lee said. “The havoc they have wrought by upsetting decades of established labor law has cost countless jobs. This common sense legislation would finally restore fairness and accountability to our nation’s labor laws.”

While the net effect on employers would be minimal if this passed, the irony is that with everyone having to go to court to rather than seek relief through the NLRB, federal law clerks would unionize and demand a pay raise because their caseloads would skyrocket.

And now I have an excuse play some Starland Vocal Band, while referencing both Ron Burgundy (the greatest composition in history) and Homer Simpson (Starland Vocal Band? They Suck!).


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