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Customer Service Standards

Public Information Program
Representation Cases
Unfair Labor Practice Cases

Public Information Program

What The Information Officer Can Do

  • Explain what the NLRB does and does not do.
  • Help prepare an unfair labor practice chargeorrepresentation petitionfor you, if requested.
  • Refer you to another federal or local agency, if appropriate.

What The Information Officer Does Not Do

  • Give legal advice.
  • Give official interpretations of laws other than the National Labor Relations Act.
  • Recommend or refer you to particular attorneys.
  • Make any official decision about unfair labor practice case issues or representation case issues.

 

What To Expect If You Ask The Information Officer For Assistance

  • If you come to an NLRB field office, the Information Officer will meet with you as promptly as possible. Please bear in mind that there may be several people ahead of you who want to speak with the Information Officer. You may want to consider calling first, as most matters can be handled by phone and mail. The Information Officer will normally be able to meet with you and assist you soon after you arrive at the NLRB office.
  • If you phone the NLRB field office, the Information Officer will normally speak to you at that time or will call back as promptly as possible. The Information Officer will normally be able to call you back and assist you soon after your call to the NLRB office.
  • In some NLRB offices, which are located in areas where there are many Spanish-speaking people, we will provide Spanish language service if you do not speak English. Extra time may be needed to provide that service.
  • The Information Officer will listen to your inquiry and may ask questions which will enable us to help you. The Information Officer will explain possible options available to you.
  • If you are meeting with an Information Officer and decide to file a charge or petition, the Information Officer will assist you. The Information Officer will normally be able to complete the filing process on the same day you decide to file the charge or petition.
  • If you have telephoned the Information Officer and decide to file a charge or petition, the Information Officer will normally mail you the appropriate forms soon after your call.
  • Where appropriate, the Information Officer will give you literature explaining our law and our procedures.

 

What We Are Doing To Improve Our Service

  • We have conducted surveys to determine whether our customers are satisfied with our services, and what we can do to improve.
  • We are continuing to examine additional ways to improve our performance in providing this service.
  • We welcome your comments about the services we provide or should provide. You may contact us at the address below.

WHENEVER YOU CONTACT THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

  • We will treat you courteously.
  • We will provide the same treatment to all persons regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Our facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. We will attempt to accommodate persons with disabilities. Please let us know if you will need accommodation.
  • If you wish, you may be represented by an attorney or other representative of your own choice.

 

Representation Cases

What To Expect When A Petition Is Filed

  • We will send all parties to the case a copy of the petition. Most petitions seek to have the NLRB conduct a secret-ballot representation election.
  • We will investigate any issues which are necessary to resolve before an election can be conducted. Where appropriate, we will explain the issues raised in the case. We may ask the parties to submit their legal arguments.
  • Some petitions may be dismissed. However, where an election is appropriate, we will attempt to get all parties to agree to a voluntary election. We have been successful in achieving election agreements 80 percent of the time.
  • Where an election is appropriate, we attempt to schedule the election as soon as practicable, normally within 6 to 8 weeks after the petition has been filed.
  • If all parties do not agree to an election, we will issue a Notice of Hearing in order to resolve necessary issues.
  • The hearing will be before an NLRB Hearing Officer. All parties may present relevant evidence relating to issues which must be resolved before an election can be conducted.
  • After the hearing, the NLRB Regional Director will issue a written decision as promptly as possible allowing for thorough and complete consideration of all of the evidence and issues. The time it takes to issue a decision may depend upon the length of the hearing, complexity of issues, and office workload. From the time a petition is first filed, you should expect a regional decision after hearing normally within 45 days. A party may request review of the Regional Director's decision by the Board in Washington, DC.
  • From the time a regional decision after hearing issues, the parties should expect that an election normally will be conducted, if appropriate, within 25 to 30 days.
  • Where an election is appropriate, we will conduct a secret-ballot election in such a manner so as to provide the eligible employees in the appropriate collective-bargaining unit an opportunity to cast their ballot.
  • If there are determinative challenged ballots or election objections, we will investigate, and/or conduct a hearing on, the challenges and objections and issue a written report. We may ask the parties to produce witnesses, evidence, and legal arguments.
  • From time that challenges and/or objections to the election are filed, if no hearing is held, the parties should expect a regional report or supplemental decision normally within 35 days. If a hearing is held, the parties should expect a regional report or supplemental decision normally within 85 days.
  • Following the election and the resolution of any determinative challenged ballots and/or objections, we will certify that a union is, or is not, the collective-bargaining representative of the employees in the voting unit.

What We Are Doing To Improve Our Services

  • We have surveyed our customers to determine their views on what needs to be improved and what we might do to improve.
  • We have revised the Board's rules to reduce the time necessary to process directed elections, and to provide the parties with clearer guidance as to how the Board will decide issues which frequently come up.
  • We have revised our internal procedures so that hearings are held more promptly.
  • When one of our offices falls behind in case processing, we may reassign some cases to another NLRB Office and we may temporarily transfer NLRB employees to help reduce the backlog.
  • We are continuing to examine additional ways to improve our performance at all stages of case processing.
  • We welcome your comment about the services we provide. You may contact us at the address below.

WHENEVER YOU CONTACT THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

  • We will treat you courteously.
  • We will attempt to answer your questions about the case, consistent with the confidentiality rights of other persons and the Privacy Act.
  • If necessary, we will provide bilingual services if we are given sufficient notice of that need.
  • We will provide the same treatment to all persons regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Our facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. We will attempt to accommodate persons with disabilities. Please let us know if you will need accommodation.
  • If you wish, you may be represented by an attorney or other representative of your own choice.

QUESTIONS, COMPLAINTS AND COMMENTS ABOUT OUR SERVICE

Please address any comments you may have about our services or about the information in this pamphlet by mail or e-mail to one of our office locations.

The headquarters address is:

NLRB - Office of Public Affairs
1099 14th St., NW, Room 9400
Washington, DC 20570-0001

 

Unfair Labor Practice Cases

What To Expect When A Charge Is Filed

In General

  • The party filing the charge is called the "charging party." The employer or union against whom the charge is filed is called the "charged party."
  • We will conduct an investigation of the charge, securing necessary witness statements and other necessary evidence upon which to decide the charge.
  • Among other things, the charging party must be prepared to provide us with details of necessary events, including dates, times, places, and names of witnesses. The charging party may be requested to provide additional evidence and/or information as the investigation progresses.
  • The charged party will be requested to provide relevant information and, if the evidence warrants, will be asked to make its witnesses available for an interview. The charged party may be requested to provide additional evidence and/or information as the investigation progresses.
  • Where appropriate, we will explain to both sides the issues which have been raised in the case. We may ask the parties to submit their legal arguments.
  • We will complete the investigation, decide whether the case has merit, and implement our decision as promptly as possible, allowing for a thorough and complete investigation.
  • All parties will be expected to submit their evidence promptly so that we may complete the investigation in a timely manner. We may give a party a deadline to submit their evidence and arguments. We will try to be flexible, consistent with our duty to complete the investigation in a timely manner.
  • The length of time it takes to decide whether a case has merit may vary depending upon our caseload, the distance between the NLRB office and the site of the dispute, the priority of the case (and other cases in the NLRB office), the number of witnesses to be interviewed and the complexity of legal and factual issues raised. We would rather take a little longer to complete the investigation if that's what is necessary to do a good job. From the time a charge is first filed, you should expect that all necessary investigation will be thoroughly completed and a regional determination will be made so that the decision can be implemented normally within 7-12 weeks, depending on the impact that the case has on the public.
  • We will evaluate cases to determine whether we should ask for a court injunction to stop the alleged unfair labor practices temporarily until the NLRB is able to decide the case.
  • Following an investigation, approximately 65 percent of all unfair labor practice charges are dismissed or voluntarily withdrawn for lack of merit. Of the remaining charges, every effort is made to resolve the case through an appropriate settlement. We have been successful in achieving settlements in such cases 86 percent of the time.

Where There Is a Decision That the Charge Does Not Have Merit

  • If the Regional Director decides that the charge does not have merit, we will explain the reasons to the charging party and offer the charging party an opportunity to withdraw the charge. If the charging party prefers, the Regional Director will dismiss the charge, with or without detailed reasons at the charging party's request, and the charging party can appeal. The dismissal letter will tell the charging party how to file such an appeal.
  • From the time a charge is first filed, you should expect in such no- merit cases that a withdrawal will be approved or a dismissal letter will issue normally within 7-12 weeks, depending on the impact that the case has on the public.
  • If the charging party appeals the dismissal, the General Counsel's Office of Appeals in Washington, DC, will fully review all of the evidence and give full consideration to the charging party's contentions in making a decision. The length of time before a decision on the appeal issues will vary depending on a number of factors, including the amount of evidentiary material which must be analyzed and the complexity of the issues.

Where There Is A Decision That The Charge Has Merit

  • If the decision is that the charge has merit, we will explain the decision and offer the charged party an opportunity to settle before a formal complaint is issued. We will continue to try to settle the case after issuance of the complaint. In addition, you should bring settlement possibilities to our attention as they develop.
  • From the time a charge is first filed, you should expect in such cases a complaint, settlement, or adjustment, normally within 7-12 weeks, depending on the impact that the case has on the public. If the charge proceeds to trial, an Agency attorney will prepare and present the case to an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Other parties to the case may be present, be represented by counsel if they so choose, and may examine witnesses and present relevant evidence. The length of time before trial will vary depending on a number of factors, including how many other cases are set for trial.
  • After the trial is concluded, the ALJ will issue a written decision and recommended order, which can be appealed to the Board in Washington and ultimately to the Federal courts. The length of time before decisions of the ALJ and the Board issue will vary depending on a number of factors, including the length of the trial and the complexity of the issues.

What We Are Doing To Improve Our Services

  • We are now evaluating all charges to determine whether an injunction is warranted to temporarily stop the alleged unfair labor practices until the NLRB is able to decide the case.
  • We are also evaluating cases to determine if greater priority needs to be given to particular cases to process them more quickly.
  • We are surveying our customers to determine their views on what needs to be improved and what we might do to improve. We may conduct follow up surveys if warranted.
  • When one of our offices falls behind in case processing, we may reassign some cases to another NLRB office and we may temporarily transfer NLRB employees to help reduce the backlog.
  • Regional Directors are being given greater procedural discretion in order to reduce delays.
  • We are continuing to examine additional ways to improve our performance at all stages of case processing.
  • We welcome your comments about the services we provide. You may contact us at the address located in the back of this booklet.

Whenever You Contact The National Labor Relations Board

  • We will treat you courteously.
  • We will attempt to answer your questions about the case, consistent with the confidentiality rights of other persons and the Privacy Act.
  • If necessary, we will provide bilingual services if we are given sufficient notice of that need.
  • We will provide the same treatment to all persons regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Our facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. We will attempt to accommodate persons with disabilities. Please let us know if you will need accommodation.
  • If you wish, you may be represented by an attorney or other representative of your own choice.

 

 

 

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