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Biden-Era NLRB Faces Make-or-Break Year in 2024

Law360 Employment Authority

This year is a pivotal one for the National Labor Relations Board, with several worker-friendly policy initiatives remaining on the board's docket after a busy 2023 and a presidential election looming on the horizon that will decide whether the Biden board's agenda solidifies or unravels.


The NLRB's busy year came after a slow start for the Biden board, which issued just a handful of major decisions in the 18 months after Democrats retook the helm in August 2021. That early pace appears to have been deliberate, said Jason Reisman, the co-chair of the labor practice at management-side Blank Rome LLP.

"They're trying really hard to do things in what they consider to be the right way," Reisman said, "the way they're not as subject to attack." Now that the board is in gear, practitioners can expect the precedent shifts to continue, he said.


Abruzzo's push to ban employers from making workers sit through anti-union meetings is one of the top items left on the docket. The general counsel has argued that captive audience meetings violate workers' rights because they carry an inherent threat that workers will be punished for refusing to attend them, urging the board to reverse precedent from 1948.

Banning captive audience meetings — one of employers' most commonly used anti-union tactics — would "really put a lid on" employers' ability to defeat organizing drives, Reisman said.

"Captive audience is not the only way that employers run campaigns, but … I would say they're probably the most efficient way to get your point across," Reisman said.

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"Biden-Era NLRB Faces Make-or-Break Year in 2024," by Braden Campbell was published in Law360 Employment Authority on January 1, 2023.