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Board invites briefs on question of faculty member status

The National Labor Relations Board is inviting briefs from interested parties on the question of whether university faculty members seeking to be represented by a union are employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act or excluded managers.

The case is Point Park University (06-RC-012276). At this Pittsburgh-based university, faculty members petitioned for an election and voted in favor of representation by the Communications Workers of America, Local 38061. However, the university challenged the decision to hold the election, claiming that the faculty members were managers and therefore ineligible for union representation.

The case ultimately was presented to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which remanded it to the Board for a fuller explanation of its original conclusion that the faculty’s role at the university is not managerial. Specifically, the court asked the Board to identify which of the factors set forth by the Supreme Court in its 1980 decision NLRB v. Yeshiva University are most significant in deciding whether faculty members are statutory employees or managers.  

After a new decision by an NLRB Regional Director again concluded that the Point Park faculty members were statutory employees, the Board granted the University’s request to take up the issue once more.

To aid the Board in addressing the matters raised in the court’s remand, the Board has invited briefs. In its Notice and Invitation to File Briefs, the Board listed eight questions that the briefs should address. and invited submissions of empirical and practical evidence. Briefs should be filed with the Board on or before July 6, 2012.



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